Friday, June 18, 2010

What's happening to me???

Vietnam's changing me. 

I'm taking the stairs sedately, one at a time (no more clattering up 2 or 3 at a time).

I'm riding slowly and carefully, on a 'sit-up-and-beg' bicycle with a basket and a bell (a million miles from the clumsy filthy mountain-biking BRAT you once knew?).

I'm eating small mouthfuls from chopsticks, and taking small sips of green tea from tiny glasses (OK I'm lying on this one, I still love my food and eat like a pig - join me for Mi Quang one morning and you'll see..!)

I've stopped cursing or complaining (except on the all-too-frequent frequent days when it hits 40 degrees and there's no power (so no fans). Then I do join the other sweaty bodies on the floor, napping and mutterering "nong qua!" - "too hot!")

I'm wearing earrings.

I'm brushing my hair (here, the 'tousled' look is simply taken as what it actually is - extreme laziness).

I'm going to the market every week for a pedicure and a hairwash (I'll dedicate a whole new post to this fabulous way of spending an hour and 30p).

I'm wearing a variety of hairstyles (every cell of my being grates at this one - Suong is 13, deaf and dumb, and an aspiring beautician. The ladies at the centre thought it would be a wonderful idea to get me all sorts of hair accessories for my birthday. The results can be best described as 'creative...')

I'm wearing dresses (sometimes by choice, sometimes for politeness! Maybe I should've kept my birthday a secret...)

I have a shiny red GENUINE!!! Chanel handbag (darned birthdays!!)

Oi choi oi! (Oh my goodness!) I'm becoming a lady!!!

Me in all my birthday finery. Aren't I beautiful... (?!)

It's not that my gender's ever been in doubt (at least I seriously hope not?!) It's more that when I arrived I stuck out like a broken leg in a full-length cast. If you didn't already have an idea, Vietnamese women are (generally) gorgeous, elegant, gentle and feminine. And whilst I'm never going to match the diminutive proportions (a girl at work is not particularly skinny, but 5 feet nothing, 42kg and a 24" waist), and whilst I would look and feel ridiculous in the beautiful full length white 'ai do' that girls wear to high school,  and whilst I'm never going to be one for frills, sparkles and embellishments (unless it's glitter from sparkly tom!), I CAN adapt my behaviour....

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