Embarassing mistake number 1 in my quest to learn Thai.
After seven months in Asia, coming back to North America has resulted in some culture-shock, sticker shock and interesting realizations about why life is different on this side of the pond.
Like most travellers I know, I try at a minimum to learn the basics in any new country’s language, but the first real expression I try to learn is always the same, no matter where I am on earth: how to say “no problem.”
In my travels, I derive a ton of pleasure from the exquisite overlap of cultures that occurs in almost every country that I’ve devoured thus far. From the dichotomies and quirks of the Philippines to a 20-minute conversation with a 4-year-old in Beijing about why I was not wearing socks, endless pleasure – and great stories – are always born of these chance encounters.
There are two fail-safe sensory overloads for the traveller who wants to learn about a new place: going to the local supermarket, replete with its adventurous, exciting foods and people watching, and taking public transportation, with all of the delays, break-downs and random farm animals that comes with it.