Vietnam Learnings

October 19, 2009 21 Comments »

I love to reflect upon my time in a place, so it’s fitting that after a year I’ve sat down and actually thought about what I’ve learned about Vietnam, Asia, and myself.  I realize that a year in Vietnam has taught me a many valuable lessons; things I will take with me for the rest of my life:

  • Patience
  • Stop lights are merely suggestions
  • How to embrace chaos and find meaning (see the motorbike diaries)
  • How to swing dance
  • How to eat healthier, smaller portions and be happy about it
  • Your type is impossible to change. My type A personality is here to stay no matter if I’m a corporate executive or an ESL teacher
  • I know what present perfect simple tense, adverbs of frequency, and superlatives are; and I know when to use them
  • Virtual relationships can be just as strong as face to face relationships
  • Traveling somewhere and living somewhere are not the same
  • I never want to be alone at Christmas again
  • I don’t melt in the rain
  • How to eat noodles with chopsticks
  • How to embrace luke-warm showers
  • How to cope with being invisible to the opposite sex
  • Sweetened condensed milk is amazing in coffee
  • How to drink and enjoy beer with ice
  • Anything is possible
  • Dessert doesn’t have to be thousands of calories
  • The end of a meal is not dessert, it’s when the toothpicks are brought to the table
  • All saran wrap in Asia sucks
  • If people around you don’t react to things such as getting cut off in traffic, then you grow up thinking that there’s nothing wrong with cutting people off
  • How to not be in a hurry
  • How to sleep through crowing roosters at 5:30AM
  • Don’t worry what’s behind you
  • Geckos are my friends
  • It’s acceptable to SMS someone at 6:30AM…on a Sunday
  • It’s worth it to talk to strangers in restaurants and coffee shops – they may become your dearest friends

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