Monday, November 19, 2012

america...and dealing with just that

at age 24 i decided to move to Hanoi, Vietnam. best decision, ever. i lived there for just under 2 years, and while i don't want to over-glorify living in Hanoi it was an amazing part of my life. talk about leaving a comfort zone, i doubt i could have picked a more different and colourful, rewarding and complex place to live out my 'itch for something different'.

not to go into too much detail about my life in vietnam here, but living there did give me the sense that no where can i possibly move to that's as challenging.

moving to Spokane WA here in the USA is by no means as 'intense' as moving to the Nam, reasons mostly being:

-traffic rules are a thing here
-prices are fixed (at much much higher)
-they speak english (more on this to come)
-no dog meat on menus or rhino horn powder for sale that i can see
-nobody staring, or pointing, or laughing at me (which i miss... i miss my kim kardashian days, sigh)
-i'm not here alone, i have this super hot husband now
(which really helps)


it's also not as easy as i thought it would be, and i definitely thought it would be easier.  there is this general idea that the USA just isn't as 'surprising' as most other countries. blame or thank Hollywood for this, i mean to say, that no other country in the world has given so much away about itself through media, and no other country even tries.  this isn't a bad thing really. there's a charm to coming to America for the first time and going 'oooh so that's what Target is all about', 'New York City, i get it', 'olive garden, pottery barn, radio shack', 'yellow school buses!!', 'pumpkins, everywhere'  (...just like in the movies)

basically, i thought i've got this whole 'party in the usa' figured out, without ever having been here.

and of course, i was wrong about that.

the USA is and wildly surprising in an undercover kind of way.

new revelations include:

-parts of it are insanely beautiful (in a' europe doesn't want you to know about' kind of way)
-you really can't just talk about politics here
(which i thought was kind of a joke at first, coming from South Africa, we talk about politics every time we need a good laugh, and it's not the same here guys, it's really not, nobody laughs, they just give you these crazy eyes that stop you mid sentence before you could get to your punch line)
-there's no point to buying anything if you're not camping out in front of the store for it, or standing in some kind of line that wraps around the building. they sure do like camping out for cool stuff these yanks (and i'm yet to 'experience' black friday)
-people have bigger 'personal space' bubbles here. walking within a meter of anybody warrants an apology. this is weird.
-it's big, i knew that the USA was bigger than South Africa but it really hit me when started having to say i live "close to Seattle" which is like saying "i lived close to Durban"... which i wouldn't have said, because Durban is like totally far, like you drive 5 hours.
-cream cheese is way cheaper here, hello cake.

that's what i'll share with you for now. it might not seem like a big 'a ha' these revelations but they've been so to me.  i'm sure there will be much more to discover as i continue to settle in here. which i really enjoy doing, honestly.  it's hard and glorious all at the same time.

you see? insanely beautiful

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