After a rather cold and exciting 27 months, and a quick adventure to Vietnam and Cambodia, I am officially back in the USA! I know I wasn’t the best at updating this blog, but I do have a bunch of stories stockpiled that I think I might continue to upload since I have some fast Internet now. For now though, this post is to tell you some things about my perspective about the good ol’ land of opportunity.
First off, faucets are AMAZING. You can just turn those things on, and fresh, clean, drinkable water comes out! Revolutionary!
Everything in general is pretty amazing, street lights, sidewalks…roads! And Vegetables. Vegetables EVERYWHERE!
Given my now severe dislike of cold, I am LOVING the weather outside, but the air-conditioning everywhere is a little dissatisfying…
Overall there is just lots of things to look at and take in…generally a little overwhelming but I am trying my best to acclimate. Here are some things that have caught me off guard:
The pet groomer:
With just a couple days of driving under my belt, I am still getting used to it. I took my aunt to the eye doctor, and she asked me to take her dog to the groomer, she gave me some very basic directions, and I was on my way. Let’s just say I got a little lost because all the businesses and stores were a little overwhelming in addition to paying attention to traffic and the rambunctious dog in the backseat. Once I found the place, I got the crazy dog out, who became even crazier outside of the car with excitement. By the time I got inside the groomer, with other crazy dogs barking and my aunts dog jumping about, I was a little spaced out and flustered.
The groomer lady came out to take the dog from me very promptly, and as she took the leash from my overwhelmed hands she said ever so kindly, “Good morning to you TOO!”
LESSON LEARNED: Don’t be overwhelmed, be overwhelming in politeness.
So as some of you might know, while I was out and about walking in a neighborhood, I fell, and scraped myself up pretty good. What you might not know, is that it actually happened two times. The first time, within my first 24 hours within the country, I fared pretty well…I just got a nasty scrape on my palm…The second time, about two days later, I re-scraped up my healing palm, and then further scraped my other palm, my knee, my shoulder, and my money maker. It happened.
So as I was sitting in the packed waiting room at the eye doctor, waiting for my aunt to finish, A real friendly older woman saw my injuries and started to talk to me about it…loudly. She sympathized with me, saying she knows how tough sidewalks can be, and her own encounter with the concrete. Within about ten seconds she had everyone in the room staring at me, as they prepared their own stories about their own sidewalk stumbles.
LESSON LEARNED: Apparently as you get older, watch out for the sidewalks, as they increase in danger.
After dealing with all the stray and otherwise scary dogs in Mongolia, I am a little frightened of all dogs now…My aunt’s for mentioned dog is usually calm, and we became fast friends again in no time, but lets just say the dogs in the yard behind my cousins house who barked at me when I entered the yard…nope…
So part of the friendship between me and my aunt’s dog’s (Bear) includes peaceful walks around the neighborhood. One day, while I was out walking her, these two twin dogs came running out from around the corner of a house, barking, and looking quite determined to eat my face off. I immediately bent down to pick up some rocks to throw, but given the location in a neighborhood, found none, and went to my back up plan of yelling “go away” in Mongolian. (Things that used to be apart of my daily routine, but now might be construed as a ‘little weird’ here in ‘merica”). My efforts did not deter the dogs, and I braced for my imminent death. Perhaps about 15 seconds later as I unsquinted my eyes, I saw the dogs licking and playing with Bear with wagging tails. Around this time the owner was walking up to me to reclaim his dogs and making small talk. I walked away with a stressed and hard thumping heart.
LESSON LEARNED: Dogs aren’t scary anymore?
The dishes that entered my aunt’s dishwasher seemed to be very pre-cleaned in the sink with the amazing faucet, but they still seemed to find a temporary home in the dishwasher to be washed. One afternoon as I was taking a dish out of the dishwasher to make a salad, and my aunt said, “Oh, those are dirty” …This warning did not deter me using the dish, and making quite the scrumptious salad in it. As I sat down at the table and began to eat, my aunt looked at me and questioned, “So did you teach any manners over there?!” With my face full of embarrassment, and my mouth full of salad, I quietly replied, “no.”
LESSON LEARNED: don’t do that.