Saturday, August 30, 2008

You Might Have Gone Native If...

Tonight is my last night in Long Xuyen - tomorrow I head to Saigon and Vacation! We celebrated with a potluck with my adopted family in the market. I made gazpacho, which was a novelty - food is never served chilled in Vietnamese cuisine. My adopted family made my favorite Vietnamese curry, gave me a wristwatch to remember them by and showered me with lots of hugs. There was also a debate about whether my "Mami-San" (I dont know why she calls her self that) succeeded in fattening me, which was deemed necessary at the start of my trip. Also, the Coconut Conspiracy continued right up to the end - my hot humors apparently require a LOT of coconut juice.

But its probably good that I am leaving...I'm approaching the "Heart of Darkness" boundary of living abroad where you get reverse culture shock when you go back:

You Might Have Gone Native If...
  1. Someone hands you a fork; it feels unwieldy, unnatural and like a generally stupid utensil
  2. When your new housemate violates the sacred Asian Footwear Hierarchy and wears her "inside slippers" outside the house, you have an inner giggle
  3. When those same slippers are worn in your bathroom, you have an inner hissy fit
  4. You have stopped noticing the vile stench of some fermented ingredient emanating from one of the cupboards in the kitchen
  5. Boiling water for drinkingvstops being a depressing exercise in deprivation, and becomes a part of the morning routine
  6. People in the market stop overcharging you and start ignoring you
  7. Intestinal parasites = conceptually icky, but not serious
  8. Your knee tendons are now stretchy enough to allow comfortable squatting, even when bathing out of a bucket
  9. You wear a conical reed hat in public, entirely without irony (....not me...)
  10. Seaweed, jello and salted plums are yummy together - in a beverage!

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