Our good friend Parin posted this article a couple of days ago and it's been on my mind ever since. If you've ever lived abroad, are planning to move abroad, or have an interest in what life is like for us expatriates abroad, you'd be wise to read this short piece by Whitney Cox about the 10 lessons she learned while living in Vietnam.
One of the main points Whitney makes that resonates most with me is how small victories like buying the right light bulb or successfully making a table reservation over the phone can be so very magical. Errands that would literally take minutes for me to do in the US take me hours to do here. Most of the time, and certainly during the process, this frustrates me and I feel stupid and incompetent. But then, the woman on the phone says, "Alles klar! Wir haben Ihre Reservierung. Wir sehen Sie morgen um 19.00 Uhr! Schönen Abend!" and I think, as the explosive, warm, and tingly sensation builds in me, "Holy tomoli, it worked!" These victories, these sensations, these magical feelings are what contribute to making expat life so amazing. Not the actual light bulb finally acquired after visiting 4 stores in every far-reaching corner of the city, but these seemingly insignificant, yet victorious moments of actually finding and buying the light bulb that are what make "purgatory" liveable and, well, quite enjoyable really!
Go on. Have a read. Tell me what you think!