Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Is it just me...

... or is it odd that:
  • everyone wears a seat-belt and stares you down if you don't (or in extreme cases, refuse to go anywhere until you buckle up)?
  • drivers actually stay in their lanes, drive the correct direction on the roads, and don't drive if they aren't old enough to have a license?
  • the majority of people riding motorbikes seem to be big bearded men in leather?
  • people talk really loudly, even if they aren't angry at all?
  • my hair doesn't poof?
  • no one crouches real low if they walk between two people having a conversation?
  • men and women touch each other in public?
  • there is a LOT of diversity in clothing, hair styles, etc.?
  • clothes and shoes here fit me?
  • parties and events are planned super far in advance?
  • people talk about themselves more than they ask others about their lives?
  • "half sizes" at restaurants really fill me up beyond what I need?
  • many talk about things they "need" or "want" when they already have more than most people on this earth will ever have?
  • there are these devices that give you directions when you drive?!
  • spiciness, MSG, and toothpicks seem to be lacking at every meal?
  • people wear shoes in the house... and there isn't a need to wash my feet before bed each night and watch lots of dirt wash away?
  • playing games is for adults, and not just children?
  • so many people know Jesus?
  • the neighbors aren't asking me where I'm going when I leave my house, or where I've been when I return to my house... and in fact, I rarely ever see them?
  • no one is asking me if I have eaten when we begin a conversation and no one invites me to eat with them if they are eating?
  • I don't have sweat stains on my clothes each day?
  • there is so much water that I've cut my shower time in half?
  • much of the population is fat? Oh, and that "fat" might be a rude word with negative connotation?
  • I can understand what everyone around me is saying, but they all seem to speak SUPER fast and use BIG words?
  • the price of everything seems insanely high?
  • men are not telling me I'm beautiful?
  • an hour seems like plenty of time to spend visiting with someone?
  • there are entire sections in the grocery store devoted to different types of cheese, or chips, or salad dressings?
  • everything in the grocery store is packaged up and there are no signs of the animal related to the meat we buy... like heads, feet, tails, innards, etc?
  • there are no temples, but churches on every corner?
  • dads go to the pool or the park and pay attention to their children and play with them?
  • there is no bargaining (except for those glorious weekend garage sales)?
  • most of the population reads books in their free time (on a screen no less)?
  • there was a dead bird in my backyard last night? Oh, wait- that actually doesn't feel so odd. :)
I could go on and on and on, but you get the point. Life is definitely different here- for better and for worse.


Bostonita said...

LOL Love this list! I'll tell you you're beautiful! ;-)

Emily said...

Suzy, I love this list - especially the one about men not commenting on your beauty everyday (they should be by the way!) and the one about an hour being enough time to visit with someone (lunch dates anyone?)
I hope your transition back into American culture goes well -- I think it's probably helpful to notice all the differences like this too. Its interesting anyway!

Anonymous said...

This was so good Mag...great to process and name the differences for better AND worse...thankful in all. :) We love having you here in CO!! :) love, momma

Kat said...

I like this list friend. Most of these I agree with. Oh how wierd life feels but eventually we'll adjust. Love you friend!

Linda Lee Doeden said...

Once again, INSIGHTFUL and yes I am shouting in a delightful way and YES I do speak loudly even when I am not angry and found it quite challenging in Laos with people wondering if I was angry all the time when really I was happily discussing life with Dr. Dean. I tried to stop speaking so expressively when the landlord, who lives over feet away as you know, had a dream that I had been beating my housemate;bruises and welts included in the dream. Now I, as you know, laugh whenever the volume gets beyond a normal soft Lao voice tone. Love reflecting about Laos, America and life as I, too am adjusting.