May 2, 2015

reality check

over the last week i've been talking to a lot of westerners and i say things that aren't normal.  like, isn't it magic when hot water comes out of the shower? do you think the bottled water is safe to drink?  do they make bread here?  can i get chopsticks because i can't remember how to use a fork?

saying these things out loud is not good.  usually the reaction i get is a variation of 'why yes, it's magic!' or 'why would you say that?'

every day it seems like it's something different.  the other day it was when i walked into the grocery store to purchase fruit.  i passed the dairy section something caught my eye and turned to look .... there was a whole case full of cheese.  not just one kind or one brand, but at least 10 kinds of cheese.  i stood there trying to look normal but my head was exploding.  

i feel like i need to make a list of things not to say to regular people.  i also noticed that although most locals in Bali speak and comprehend English extremely well and are willing to chat i'm not used to engaging the locals on the street.  in Myanmar the locals mostly just ignore westerners.  the kids still stare at us but they are scared too.  the people and kids on my street and the security guards all talk to me but once i'm out of my street it's different.

the frightening thing is i've been in Myanmar less than 6 months.  i can't imagine what it does to the psyche of people who have been living under the military power for 60 years.

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