Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A weekend of extremes

This past weekend was a perfect example of the highs and lows of living overseas...

There is a little friend in my class. His name is Barrow (yes, like a wheelbarrow...is that even a name? Has anyone ever known anyone named Barrow? Who gave him that name? Maybe it was Christopher-turned Chris-turned Aady...) Instead of mimicking my every phrase like sweet Jacob does, he picked up just one of my phrases and used it as the answer to any and all of my questions.

Me: Barrow, what color is your shirt?
Wheelbarrow: Good job.
Me: Barrow, is your shirt green?
Wheelbarrow: Good job.

Well, I suppose there are worse phrases he could learn from me! These are the moments I love living in this country.

After class, we went home for lunch and a quick nap before heading back to school for our afternoon classes. Right in the middle of my nap, my Asian teaching partner showed up at my house, unannounced. So there I was, in my stripped PJ pants, welcoming her into my furniture-less home. These are the moments I don't so much love living in this country.

Kevin and I ended up going out to dinner with my teaching partner after our afternoon classes ended. We went to a western restaurant in town (not KFC or Pizza Hut!) and I had the best minestrone soup of all time. The best part about the dinner was the Asian man singing karaoke songs by the Backstreet Boys or Mariah Carey in English. These are the moments I love living in this country.

Our dinner companion had borrowed her father's car for the evening. This was our first non-taxi ride since we've lived here. Admitidly so, our friend was not very confident behind the wheel, which is not really a good thing when navigating traffic here is more like a game of Frogger. Plus seatbelts are not an option here. On the way to and from dinner on the highway, the spedometer never went about 40 kmp (which I'm told equates to around 30 mph). These are the moments that I fear for my life living in this country.

Attached to the restaurant where we had dinner is an import store. Now when I say store, you should read closet. It is tiny, tiny, tiny but has so many western delights (for not so tiny prices). I came home with a bag of real Rold Gold pretzels and a bottle of balsamic vinegar. They also had an entire shelf filled with almond Honey Bunches of Oats (my favorite cereal in the whole, wide world). These are the moments I love living in this country.

Until I checked the price tag of my dearly beloved breakfast...nearly $10 a box! These are the moments I don't so much love living in this country.

That night (or her morning rather), Sister Sarah was having a knitting party in Louisville. She had invited three of the all-time coolest people in the world to her home. I mean, four of my favorite people in one place--what can get any better than that? Since I couldn't be there (for obvious reasons), I thought it would be fun to Skype so I could see them all. Thanks to my new discovery of call2.com, I was able to call them on my cell phone. These are the moments I love living in this country.

However, sadly enough, it was at that very moment that our computer went nuts and our internet decided to cut off. These are the moments I don't so much love living in this country.

Well, the adventures continued on Sunday but this seems like enough examples for one night. Let's just say that life is never boring in this neck of the woods!


Anne said...

However, to those of us who read about your travails, there is a faint remembrance of when everything that we did was an adventure. you are storing up experiences and stories that will last a lifetime! Anne

thehes said...

you captured it all so well! thanks for sharing...

(won't be long before we can both say, "we flew to malaysia for just a couple hundred bucks. this is when i like living here..." =) )

Shannon said...

Oh Beck! Thanks for sharing! You've made my monday morning... It's still dark out; do I really have to go to work today?
Miss you like crazy!

mckanna said...

Hi Guys! We think of you often and love the blog posts about language learning. It is so helpful to think humor when I think about my language learning in the near future! I don't think we have your email or are on your list. Can we get on?

Brian and Kami

Jamie Butts said...

Thanks for your update the other day. I enjoyed reading it, and thinking about you guys and your experiences/progress. How was the Easter party?

Keep blogging. I promise I'll keep reading. I know it's busy though.

You're loved!