Friday, November 7, 2014

Are You Comfort Table?

"Are you comfort table?" my students asked me as we sat down for dinner.
My mind began racing trying to figure out what they could mean "Am I comfort table? Comfort table.. Com-fort-table..."
"Are you comfortable?" my roommate whispers to me.
"Yes of course," I respond and go back to thinking "What could they possibly mean.. Comfort table.."

I am ashamed to say despite my roommates help it wasn't until the next day that I finally realized that they were indeed asking "Are you comfortable?" Had I known what they were trying to ask I would have of course said yes (because you always say yes even when you aren't), but the truth is Laos is not a place of comfort.

The truth is I am constantly covered in dirt, and no matter how many times I wash my clothes they permanently smell like sweat.

The truth is I haven't worn my hair in anything but a ponytail or braid since I left home, and if I attempt to wear it down it sticks to the back of my neck.

The truth is I can't remember the last time I wasn't scratching my arms and legs due to countless bug bites.

The truth is my mornings consist of squishing ants under my fingers while eating breakfast and wiping my counters down only to turn around and find more ants swarming invisible crumbs.

The truth is I spent a night crying and unable to sleep because a mouse had taken over my bedroom.

The truth is it takes a minimum of flipping the switch eight times until my kitchen light actually turns on.

The truth is once I finally get one thing fixed in my house another thing breaks down.

The truth is it is very difficult to cook when all you have is a single stove top and a toaster oven.

The truth is teaching is not as easy as it looks.

The truth is I miss the comforts of home and wish I could be there for the holidays.

The truth is Laos is one of the most uncomfortable places I have ever been, but it is also one of the most beautiful. And the truth is the people here are the kindest you will ever meet, and that despite the sweat, the broken everything, being so far from home, and even that darn mouse I wouldn't trade this year living in Laos for anything. So no I am not comfortable (nor am I a comfort table for that matter) but if I wanted to be comfortable I should have stayed home.


Jamie Walker said...

found you from a comment on my blog - this is such a great story and really rings true of the expat experience [at least in Southeast Asia - it's mostly cockroaches here in Taiwan!]

Dani said...

Somehow I didn't see this comment until now. Thank you, I don't think I would be okay with cockroaches either. I beginning to be able to just ignore the ants, but I don't know if I could do it with cockroaches. Those can't be as easily squished as ants can.

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