The Always Evolving and Partially Unwritten Five-Year Plan

Really America?

First of all, let me say that I love America. I am so proud to be an American. After living abroad for even six months, I see why people risk their lives to come into our country on a a daily basis. I am so thankful that I get to come home to a place as great as the ol’ USA.

That being said, it is exchanges like the following that give Americans a bad name abroad.

Guy greeting people at Dick’s Sporting Goods: “Welcome to Dicks! Can I help you find anything?”

Me: “Well, I know they are out of season, but I am looking for tennis skirts.”

GGPD: “Oh, well, we might not have any b/c its winter, but if we do they are over besides the golf stuff. Why do you need them now? You will freeze out there!”

Me: “Well, I live in Malaysia and it’s always pretty hot there.”

GGPD: “No way- Malaysia? Where is that anyway?”

Me: “It’s in Southeast Asia.”

GGPD: “That’s cool. Do you speak Asian or something?”

Me: “Excuse me. Asian?”

GGPD: “Yeah, Asian. You know, like Japanese.”

Me: “Hmmm, well, they don’t speak Asian or Japanese in Malaysia so I’m going to have to say no.”

Just get out a map people.

I’m not asking you to memorize the mountain ranges of Laos of countries or know the GDP of small developing countries.

I’m just asking that you know tid-bits of information such as:

a) that there is no such thing as an “asian” language
b) it takes about 7 hours to get from KL to Japan, which is about the time it takes to get from Atlanta to some places in Europe.

So, it’s not just around the corner is all I’m saying.

More to come on the trip home to America later, but I just had to share that gem while it was fresh on my mind!


One response

  1. David

    Jen – your story about the guy at the sporting goods store struck a raw nerve. You may think I’m the ultimate example of a white guy totally diving in to malaysian culture (and food) head first wholeheartedly gung-ho… but note: the first day I talked with Siew May, back in 1986, I asked her where she’s from, and my next sentence was, “Malaysia… hmmm… is that a country or a region?”

    I had never heard of it… and now it’s my 2nd home… I’ve come a long way.

    The fact that she married me shows the immense patience and forbearance of her character. (Where that patience and forbearance went off to is anybody’s guess… maybe I required it too often!)

    January 26, 2011 at 5:07 PM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s