Saturday, October 1, 2011

deal with it

Bllaaah. I just returned last night from an anxiously awaited trip to Hanoi, as it was going to be the first official kickoff to my project. I have to say, although it was a complete and utter success, it has left me completely and utterly exhausted as well as with a bit of a jaded taste of Vietnam in my mouth.  (It has also left me with a horrible stuffy nose and unsure digestive system from the "fish" and rice meal served on the airplane last night). It has finally occurred to me that I have shifted from the "OMG I cannot believe I am in Vietnam right now"-"wow! thats so cheap!"-"just trying to sort out my life" mode to "I am not a tourist, so don't try to rip me of buddy"-"UGGH! I still think I got ripped off.."-"figured out my life and now I'm just living day-by-day" mode. It is a weird transformation of the mind.

Example: I logged into Twitter for the first time in weeks. I read a tweet from someone that said something along the lines of "I hate when people don't say thank you when I hold the door open for them!" I literally laughed outloud. As this is something that would be rather irksome in the US, it is a thought that has evaporated from my thoughts and well being. Not only have I been overexposed to "people not saying 'thank you' when I hold the door open", it is safe to say that the concept of holding the door open for people does not exist here.

So now that I have this understanding that there is no such thing as "letting people out of the elevator first before you try getting on" and so forth, I suppose I have subconsciously developed this mindset of "dealing with it". There are more important things to worry about in life than getting caught up with things that are virtually meaningless in the long run. And as I still don't think I will ever be the type of person to push everyone out of the way in order to be the first in the elevator, it has taught me to be a little more assertive with myself. If I am not, then without a doubt I will get walked all over here. I have already learned several lessons the hard way. One minor example of many: "No sir, you will not cut me. I have been waiting patiently for my turn at the ATM for the last 7 minutes and you have not."

Now, I don't want to end this blog post with a sour taste in your mouth about my life over here. I assure you that I am alive and well. Just wanted to provide some insight from a Vietnam Fulbright...

When I am feeling a little exhausted from the "city life" (let me clarify, this is vastly different than city life in the US), I find myself retreating to the most lovely cafe in all the world where I can enjoy avocado smoothies and French music (a nice break from the chronic Michael Jackson and Bon Jovi that I cannot seem escape here...).

Je vous presente "La Fenêtre Soleil":

ahhh yes. the comfort i find in things that remind me of an anthropologie store...

my go-to comfort meal. it is as delicious as it looks.

I do have many other events to share on my blog with my fellow readers, such as fishing for clams with Vietnamese locals, my adventure into the depths of bird museum collections, and my reevaluation of Hanoi the second time around. However, sometimes I think it is better to just say what is on your mind and tend to other matters when the time is right. Now back to my blissful getaway into French colonial times (hey, they did the cafe thing right...)

Oh yeah! Rabbit rabbit rabbit!!!!

1 comment:

  1. totally agree about the politeness pics from clam fishing please! :D