So many strange and peculiar sights and sounds (not to mention the motorbike near-misses) in fact, that I've grown a bit blasé.
The swarm of
And just yesterday, a passing bike (wheel spokes spinning at a gazillion rpms no more than an INCH from my ankle) whizzed by - the driver, reading an open TEXTBOOK!
No doubt noteworthy tales all, in more conventional circles. But among my fellow expats sipping our morning brew 'round the equivalent of the office water-cooler (but in our case, a bitty street cart serving up 300% caffeine encrusted cà phê đá) such daily anecdotes raise nary an eyebrow, producing but a round of indifferent shrugs.
Thus fearful that some of the more remarkable such sights and experiences might be forever lost from (my increasingly dodderin') memory, I've opted to start a whole new series here on TravelnLass, affectionately dubbed "Only In Asia".
Yup, a new "OIA" procession of stray anecdotes (coincidentally the acronym sounds a bit like "Oy!" - as it rightly should) that embellish daily life here in the rice paddy.
I mean, there are just sooo many little things about living here in Asia that boggle the mind. Like...
The garbage truck in my alley that - instead of the usual screeching "dee-dee-dee" warning sound one might otherwise expect as it backs-up to the building next door - merrily blasts Disney's unmistakable "It's a Small World After All".
Then there's the stacks of men's deodorant piled next to the check-out stand at my local wannabe Costco market - each plastic push-up tub emblazened with the scent of "lentils". Seriously, "LENTILS"???
See what I mean? Oy! Only in Asia!
But this... THIS most recent such "OIA" moment has GOT to be THE most hilarious, nutso, bizarre, but nonetheless incredibly endearing... "Only In Asia" tale of the them ALL:
|Western alphabet - still gibberish...|
Even better, for the first 5 weeks on Thursdays (one of the days I teach the class) the entire lesson is devoted to "Culture Day". Each Thursday a different English-speaking country is featured, with games, food, coloring the country's flag, etc. On the first Thursday the focus was on my own homeland, the U.S. of A. Apparently the ILA admins (predominantly British) were especially impressed with our little "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" back in '69 (a.k.a. Neil Armstrong's firsties step on the moon) So that event was featured as the American theme for the class.
|Ah, "Fashion"? Looks promising.|
Ah but the very BEST in my book: for eats we all had good ol' American HOT DOGS! With MUSTARD AND KETCHUP even!!! Seriously. I was in HEAVEN. I've always loved the humble hot dog (especially if they're "Chicago Redhots" but that's a whole 'nuther story), and I've not had a hot dog in nearly 8 long months. So needless to say I ate my fair share with great relish! (well actually, alas there was no "relish" really, but I use the term loosely here as an adverb.) ;)
ANYWAY... enough preamble - on to the incredible "Only in Asia" of it:
ANYWAY... here's this bright red cloth-bag-wrapped PRESENT - for ME!
So of course I swiftly peeked inside and found...
A great big ol' package of...
<wait for it....>
White cotton panties. In size XL no less!
(actually XL - and even XXL are the only sizes in Asian standards that fit over my knees)
Needless to say, I was utterly DUMBFOUNDED!
From the parents of one of my students.
What can I say? Firstly, "Bless their hearts." And secondly...