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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cultural Difference-Crazy Foreign Neighbor

Even after living here for 2 years, I find that I still say some wacky things to neighbors I know have a very limited understanding of the English language.  Is it because I know they can't understand me or is it because when I get just a little freaked out by my lack of ability to communicate I start babbling in English.  (just comes naturally to me).


Yesterday I returned home around 3 pm after an uncomfortable bus ride.  It was my own fault that my legs were squished for the entire 7 hour journey, as I didn't want to put my new "North Face" backpack in the luggage compartment underneath the bus.  Of course, it just doesn't fit in the tiny storage area above the seats and it won't quite be crammed under the seat... right there in my leg space is the only place it can really go.  I had my computer in it and really didn't want to stick it in the aisle....


The bus ride had the added fun of sitting next to a grandma with a puking child (second bus journey in a row with a poor sick kid next to me)... To top it off I peed on my jacket tied around my waist when I ran out to relieve myself after 3 hours....Must not have gauged the wind right... ooh.


So I get home to Arvaikheer and figure maybe my usual taxi driver will be there and we'll recognize each other and I'll get an easy ride home.  I didn't see him, but instead saw my old man "friend" Z, whose calls I had to ignore for 7 months after ending our fling a year ago.....So in my awkward hurry, I decided to test run the new backpack and hoof it home.  


It's about a 20 minute stroll to my apartment.... This bargain of a backpack (65K T, about 50 bucks)...was not as comfy as I'd hoped.  I was tired, cranky and hungry, and just wanted to get home and nestle in for the rest of the day!  


Two short breaks later, both unsuccessful attempts to re-adjust the pack so it was more comfy.. I was almost there!  I stopped at the closest delgur to pick up yogurt and pasta and then was at my door!


Yea, I made it, but where was the freakin' key!?  hhhmmmm... not carrying a purse and not being familiar with any small crannies in this new pack, I must have hidden it somewhere in the pack where it wouldn't get lost and I could find it easily..... Sounds logical, eh?


By now, I am systematically taking things out of the pack... ooooh here's the bag of fresh spinach and broccoli I so excitedly bought.  The broccoli just cause it was there and I love it and the fresh spinach which I bought along with half kilo of cheddar cheese to make that  baked dip recipe I've been dreaming of, finally all the ingredients.


The broccoli, since putting it in the pack early this morning and having it on the hot crowded bus, now smelled like rotting produce...filling the hallway with a bad odor.... Next, I get out the bag with the clothes, not there, how about the toiletries bag....crap, not in there either.... Soon I have the entire contents of my bag sprawled in front of my door and pull out the computer bag, and there's my key!  Yea!!!


Right now my neighbor, the nice lady whose family owns the sporting goods store in the market and whose English I know is limited to "hi" and whose husband thinks I'm a crazy foreigner ever since we had a dispute over me putting my garbage in the hallway on collection day (he was right, dogs got in and what they didn't eat, they left all over the hall).......... and she looks at my stuff all over and tries to nod and leave and I proceed to babble......


"Hi, I just got home and couldn't find my key....and....take everything out".... and as she nods and rushes out....."and that horrible smell of rotting vegetation is actually sacred vegetables that I brought all the way from Ulanbataar cause I'm your crazy foreign neighbor and I like to eat this smelly weird sh*t".  Have a nice day!"

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