Maybe kids are the ones who have it all figured out [insert moment of cliché teacher reflection]. Maybe we’re born with all the answers then manage to second guess them away over the years. The things kids say can be cute, ridiculous, but, sometimes startling profound.
I find that lately some of my best conversations are with nine-year-olds.
The present is a gift. Live for the moment. Be here, be now.
As a semi-professional daydreamer it’s harder done than said. It’s not that I’m escaping the present. It’s that in my daydream world the future can be just oh-so-enticing. There’s so much to look forward to; so much to hope for, to work for, to be distracted by; so many reasons to end prepositions on. The present is wonderful. But sometimes the future is even more intoxicating with its adventurous ambiguity.
Yet lately I find that the present is winning out. Even I am more and more often knocked back from Cloud World to breathe in the scooter smoke and roasting chicken moments that are Now.
And it’s wonderful.
Living in Vietnam as an expat is like being in a dysfunctional relationship. Just as you snuggle up to its sunny charm, it cuts the power, lets the rats run loose and throws in a typhoon to boot. But when you’ve finally had enough and are set to leave with the kids, it begs you to stay with lovely days at the beach and unexpected flowers from neighbors. My love/ hate relationship with my temporary home leaves me frustrated and happy. And also confused. I can’t figure out why the things I hate about Vietnam are the same things I love.
Here are a few.
Every Night is Biker Night
In Vietnam, shoulders are not for ladies. In Cambodia, knees must be covered to enter the temples. In Malaysia it’s the head that offends in mosques. And in Singapore, closed-toe shoes signify you’re one to be taken seriously. Ladies, am I the only one confused by what parts to keep under wraps?