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(My) expat life 21 July 2010

Posted by uggclogs in Life, Travelling, Vietnam.
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As much as I have tried to learn Vietnamese, and as much as I try to use it every day, the fact of the matter is, that I am not able to hold very long, meaningful or deep conversations with the average populace. This pains me.

I think that had I spent the last two years exclusively with Vietnamese, speaking, living and breathing Vietnamese, I would have been fluent by now. But the fact of the matter is that I have not. I speak more English in a day than I speak Vietnamese.

My passive language skills are actually quite good, and I can understand a lot when people speak. I can even read quite a lot, too (albeit very slowly).

It is funny how you come across as shy, demure or even a little stupid when you don’t say very much. Luckily, I have by now perfected my smile-and-nod routine.

But nights like tonight make me realise that I am blessed that I have friends and colleagues that have made the effort to learn English as well as they have (putting me to total and utter shame!).

This was my night:

Pho cuon with colleagues at a tiny restaurant where we sit on the floor, legs bent double. Being tall really cramps my style at those places.

Then out for a drink at one of the local expat watering holes, with a beer and shisha (turkish waterpipe) to finish off the evening. Good conversation, many laughs. How was I so lucky as to end up here?