Awkward Abroad: Wuthering Heights

My host family has a close family friend, Delphine, who can speak pretty good English. On the second night she came over for dinner, she was very kind and talked to me about French literature because to all French people, I am studying literature since it’s easier to explain than “English.”

Except I couldn’t ask her when she was trying to tell me about this English book she was reading. I’m still not sure whether she meant it was an English book she was reading in French or English. I’m assuming it was in French, based off of what the conversation (in French) went like:

Delphine: It’s called Les Hauts de Hurlevent.

Alissa: It’s called what?

Delphine: Les Hauts de Hurlevent.

Alissa: I’m sorry, but could you repeat that, again?

Delphine: Les Hauts de Hurlevent.

Alissa: Okay. I have no idea what that translates to. “Haut” is “high,” or
up” … right?

[Delphine speaks a little English, so I did ask if it meant “high” or “up” in English. But I also gestured it too].

Delphine: I forget what the English title is …

Alissa: Me too! Haha.

Delphine: But it’s an English novel … written in the Victorian Era, I think? It is a romance novel.

Alissa: I’m really sorry, but there are a lot of those.

Delphine: Don’t worry. It’s no big deal.

Alissa: No, this makes me angry! I need to know! What is the book about? What are the character names?

Delphine: Um … uh … Eat … Eatcliff?

Alissa: WUTHERING HEIGHTS!! OH MY GOD!! YOU ARE READING WUTHERING HEIGHTS!! WITH HEATHCLIFF AND CATHERINE!! THE WRITER IS EMILY BRONTË!! WUTHERING HEIGHTS!!

Delphine: Yes!

Alissa: Whew! I am so happy I know now.

Delphine: Wuthering Heights. So I know where the “haut” comes from. What does “wuthering” mean?

Alissa: I have no idea.  What does “hurlevent” mean?

Delphine: I have no idea.

Alissa: (beat) But don’t you love the book?

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Awkward Abroad: the Period Joke from Down Under

You can only say “She perioded on me” if you’re Jonah Hill or a New Zealander

[Disclaimer: I was not actually the cause of the awkwardness of what I’m about to tell you. SURPRISE SURPRISE. But I acted so awkward about what happened that I can’t not include it.]

Though I’ve met New Zealanders in France and Ireland, the only time I hung out with New Zealanders was at Oktoberfest, and even then it wasn’t really “hanging out” but rather “sitting at the same picnic table even though there are two Germans separating us.” I didn’t even know they were New Zealanders because it was so loud and they were so far away and I didn’t even end up talking to them until hours into Oktoberfest.

I did, however, notice them as soon as we got in, because 1.) they were both very cute and 2.) one of them had a lip ring and a tattoo sleeve and neither of those are very common in Europe and 3.) they were seated at the edge of the picnic table where the waitress would stand to drop off the beer and take orders so I kind of had to notice them.

I should say that I didn’t make official contact with them until after my friends and I started talking to the Germans. It was towards the end of our Oktoberfest, because I remember this was when I was trying to explain to the German guy why we couldn’t stay there all day and night and then go to a club with them at midnight (he wasn’t accepting my excuse that we didn’t have strong German bladders and livers like they did). We were friendly with the Germans and were working our way down the table, I guess.

My friend Lily was sitting opposite of me on the other side of the table—the side that the lip ring and sleeve tattoos guy was on—and she was standing up because she was ready to go. This guy was standing up too, and I couldn’t see it until Lily pointed out, but it’s kind of hard not to look over when someone says “Hey, why do you have blood on your shirt?”

At this point, the German guy and I both stopped talking and turned to look at the New Zealander because, well, duh. And everyone else at the table did the same because, well, DUH.

The guy swiveled to show us his white shirt, which did have noticeable dried bloodstains on his torso, like where the bottom of his ribcage was.

“Oh, yeah, that. Some girl perioded on me, like in Superbad,” he said, ever so nonchalantly, not even pausing or stuttering or laughing to screw up the joke.

It took me a second to connect the dots and get the reference (can’t believe I’m writing this … a girl has her period and …. crap, I can’t do this … just watch the video in the link). I just couldn’t believe that he just pulled that out, and even as I’m writing this I’m still a little shocked.

First off, the guy quotes Superbad, which doesn’t really happen when you first meet someone. And secondly, he’s quoting that scene in Superbad.

Bold move, sir. Bold move indeed.

I remember I looked over at Lily and just like me, her mouth was open in shock too. She didn’t say anything—maybe like me, she wasn’t ready to say anything just yet—but I could tell we were thinking the same thing: Did that guy just say what I thought he said?

The German guys didn’t really have much of a reaction—either they weren’t prudes like us or maybe they just don’t watch a lot of movies (see: Talking about Inglorious Bastards with some Germans). Lily and I just glanced at each other again before we started doing that incredulous snort-laugh you do when something happens and you can’t believe that it did.

It was Lily who was finally able to respond—I was still trying to figure out whether that guy really did mean to make a period joke to two girls he just met.

“No way, man, she’d have to be an Amazonian or something to do that to your stomach,” Lily pointed out, calling bullshit—another reason why I love her.

He smiled self-deprecatingly and laughed before responding. Turns out a girl cut her finger and wiped it on his shirt. Or so he said.

What girl? Which finger? What did she do to get a cut? Why did she wipe it on his shirt? Is she okay? What happened to her? Does she have AIDS? Do YOU have AIDS?

I was too scared to ask. And alas, now I’ll never know. But that’s probably a good thing.

Lily managed to bark out a laugh at that. I was still quiet. Even when the focus went away from the guy and everyone when back to their conversations, I was still quiet.

And the German guy next to me noticed. “Your face, it’s very red,” he told me.

Red like the bloodstains, I couldn’t help but sourly think. Before I started to utter something commonplace like “Oh” or “Yeah,” I happened to glance over at the guy who started all of this.

He had been watching me. And when I made eye contact with him, he winked at me.

Needless to say, my face got even redder after that.

Awkward Abroad: Hitchhiking

I don’t know when exactly this happened, but sometime between when my dad’s best friend would hitchhike from his hometown thirty minutes south of Boston to his college in Providence, Rhode Island and to the time when I was born it became this huge thing in the States where hitchhiking was something that just never, ever happened.

When I was in elementary school, I remember having to ask my dad what that guy was doing walking along the highway (something my parents had told me never to do) and he had to explain what a hitchhiker was. Hitchhiking was just something I never saw and, therefore, I never really had any desire to hitchhike and never really considered it an actual mode of transportation.

Maybe it’s because I never saw anyone or knew anyone who did it when I was alive, so that made me want to do it. Maybe it’s because of horror stories or movies about the innocent person who picks up the creepy hitchhiker or the creepy driver who picks up the innocent hitchhiker and, well, something undesirable always happens after that. Maybe it’s because everyone stopped being hippies and got jobs and cars. I don’t know.

But I do know that whatever contributed to this change of public opinion has not happened in Europe yet. Or, at least, the Europe stretching from the Netherlands to Paris.

There was a guy who had hitchhiked with his friend from somewhere in the Netherlands (never asked where specifically) to Paris—and as if that wasn’t crazy enough, it was just something they had decided to do for a weekend trip, completely in-the-moment and absurdly, admirably spontaneous.

“We were very lucky. It only took 12 hours and three car rides,” he proudly told me.

“You were very lucky because you didn’t get killed,” I replied.

He threw his head back and laughed. “You are such an American. You are so American right now.”

I shrugged. Yeah, I know. He was right.

“So how are you going back home? Are you going to risk hitchhiking across country borders again?” I asked.

He said yes, but he was shaking his head at much. “Such an American,” he muttered.

I didn’t shrug this time.

I think he was just as taken aback by my incomprehension as I was taken aback by his spontaneity. He was the first person I ever met who had hitchhiked in the modern era. And I’m twenty years old!

“You are an American and you are abroad, so that shows me you are open-minded,” he said, echoing what many Europeans have said to me. “Why wouldn’t you want to try hitchhiking one day?”

Because I want to live, I thought to myself. “I’m a girl. It’s different for me,” I said, stupidly thinking that would be the argument-ender so we could move away from this topic.

“Nonsense. I know girls who hitchhike all the time. You should try it. Maybe you could hitchhike when you are abroad,” he persisted.

He didn’t stop there. It was life-changing (not life-ending). He felt like he grew more as a person because of it (because the driver didn’t hack off his limbs with a machete). It was cheaper (but riskier and deadlier). If he was a candidate in the Mister World competition, he would wax poetic on the advantages of hitchhiking as a way to bring about world peace.

Hitchhiking, hitchhiking, hitchhiking. Blah, blah, blah. Kill me now. And not by forcing me to hitchhike.

This was one of those instances I just couldn’t win and had to forfeit. Usually when that happened, it was about French people telling me how Romney is Satan and Obama is God and regardless of my political beliefs, I don’t agree with that and don’t think it’s as black and white as that.

But do I say that? No! Mostly because I’m a weenie who doesn’t want to debate or have an argument in any language. So in those situations I swallow my ideas, my thoughts, my opinions and my words, and just suck it up.

“Yeah, maybe,” I said glumly. And then I hitched a ride out of that conversation thanks to the bathroom excuse.

Funnily enough, one of my friends that I went to that bar with had actually  recommended hitchhiking to me the first night I met him. We were in an Irish bar talking about my upcoming vacation in Dublin and how he went to Ireland this past summer. And guess what he did? Hitchhiked.

He just went to Ireland by himself. On a whim, for a week or so, just because. He’s that kind of guy (I guess I keep meeting a lot of them around here). And that same kind of nonchalant attitude carried over into Ireland, because he started hitchhiking in the countryside to get to Irish Place A to Irish Place B (I want to say Dublin to Gallway but I don’t really remember).

When he got picked up by this gruff middle-aged man, the guy only agreed to take him a little bit. And then once they started talking (this guy’s English is really good), then the guy said he would go out of his way to drive him to his final destination. And then later the guy said he’d still drive my friend to the end place but first they could have dinner at his place.

“And you did that and nothing happened?” I asked, flabbergasted.

“Of course!” he cheerfully responded. Oui, of course!

Obviously, my friend’s still alive. But his experience, as fun as it seemed, is not one I want to replicate anytime in the near future.

“You should try hitchhiking in Ireland,” he gushed.

“Um … we’re four girls, so I don’t think that’s going to happen,” I replied. The large number of people, coupled with our gender, was enough to make him back off.

So am I just being an American wuss? Have any of you guys ever hitchhiked? What was it like?

One way of pudding it…

I’ve never been much of a pudding girl. In fact, I think I’ve been more of an every-other-dessert-ever kind of girl. It’s not that I dislike pudding, but just that I like a lot of other desserts more. But here I am writing a blog post about it—putting it on par with cheesecake and mac & cheese. What the heck?

It all started when those British couchsurfers made a traditional British Sunday dinner as a thank-you gift to my host family (and, by association, me—what, it was hard waking up in the morning, finding three British passports, and being told six hours later that oh yeah, these guys are going to be staying here for a week!).

I’m not going to lie, it was pretty funny to watch these three tall, lanky guys crammed together in the kitchen and actually cooking. They didn’t even allow anyone to come over and see what they were making, but at that point it wasn’t surprising because they were very secretive when they brought their groceries home. My curiosity was piqued when they asked the host daughter, and then me because they thought she didn’t understand, where they could buy a jar of goose fat. They were so causal, like they were just asking for a jar of strawberry jam. What the heck did they need goose fat for?

They wouldn’t tell me. All they would reveal was that they were trying to make a traditional roast, but a Frenchified version since they couldn’t find some of the staples. Like goose fat.

Later, when all of the full plates were placed on the table, we were given a crash course in Traditional British Roasts 101. I forget the names of the vegetable mash and the roasted turnip things, but I’ll never forget the Yorkshire pudding I was served.

Does the name seem familiar? It did to me that night, if only because of Harry Potter. But Voldermort’s wand to my head, I would have guessed that the Yorkshire pudding was the vegetable mash, because that was the only pudding-like thing. I was just assuming that, like the American pudding I was used to, this Yorkshire pudding was supposed to be slightly liquid-y.

Find the Yorkshire pudding.

But alas. It turns out Yorkshire pudding is most like a popover, I guess, and it’s usually served with roast beef on these Sunday roasts. The guys wanted the goose fat for these pastry things, because that’s one of the main ingredients along with eggs, milk, flour, and salt (seriously, that’s it). And, even more un-pudding like, Yorkshire pudding typically is served with gravy. What the what?

We had chicken instead of roast beef, and we also had Yorkshire pudding made without goose fat; to the British guys, these two discrepancies had equal value, even though I could only understand the difference between chicken and roast beef.

It’s okay, though, because the British guys were having a hard time understanding my understanding of pudding. Wikipedia backs me up on this—apparently in America and Canada, pudding is a sweet milk-based dessert, but across the pond it’s also the name of dessert in general (sometimes, like the pudding course), as well as a baked starch-based savory kind of dish.

“So is your pudding like a trifle then?”

My mind flashed to the infamous Friends trifle. “Um, like a dessert trifle, but without the layers, and only one kind of custard-y thing.”

“Only one?” he asked.

“Yeah … its more like rice pudding without the rice,” I tried to explain. “But you could have it in all kinds of flavors … like vanilla, chocolate, butterscotch, pistachio, caramel.”

Rachel’s pudding: equal parts meat and cream.

“Woah.”

Honestly, I’m so glad that I got to have that conversation in English. It was confusing enough in my native tongue. I don’t even know what my French sister thought of the conversation or how she tried to translate this mind-blowing discussion to her parents.

When I came to Paris, I knew that I’d have to do a lot of explaining about American things, but I just didn’t expect that I’d have to do it in English and about pudding.

I just told my French family that pudding was a dessert like a creamier, sweeter yogurt—because my host family is very cautious about their sugar and I had to get used to yogurt for dessert (womp womp, life is hard). They seemed to get it and I was proud of myself.

Then, three weeks later, we had pudding for dessert. NOT YOGURT! To my eternal dessert-lover shame, I didn’t even realize that it was pudding and not yogurt until I took my first scoop and got the surprise of a bite-time (the packaging is eerily similar, all right?) I almost spat out the pudding in surprise.

“Do you remember the pudding talk with the British guys? This is actual pudding!” I exclaimed to my slightly grossed out host family, thrusting the pudding cup in the air like it was the Olympic Torch.

I looked at the top wrapper I had sloppily discarded on the table. It said “crème de dessert,” which certainly isn’t “French” for pudding.

They chuckled a little and continued eating. That crazy American girl and her pudding, she thought.

Now, I have another pudding, one I can’t believe I forgot—especially in wake of the great American-English milk-based versus starch-based pudding debate of 2012.

BREAD PUDDING, YOU SNEAKY BASTARD.

And last I added another sneaky pudding: croissant pudding. Yeah, you read that right. Croissant pudding.

I’ve already posted a picture of this, but I’m so proud of the pudding I’mma do it twice.

It started with the potluck Thanksgiving dinner my host program held the Wednesday before Thanksgiving (not on Thursday because we don’t have school on Fridays and students usually leave Thursday night—yeah, our school plans after-hours events around students’ travel plans). I was trying to find something cheap that could be Frenchified into a decent dish I could carry on the subway for twenty minutes.

My mom (my actual mom, LOVE YOU MOMMY) suggested bread pudding. My wallet suggested only having to buy eggs, heavy cream, and bread plus the staples in my host family’s kitchen. And then when I searched for cool bread pudding ideas, my internet browser suggested banana Nutella croissant pudding.

Every molecule in my body suggested that recipe.

It was a little pricier than what the people who signed up to bring two bottles of 2 euro wine would have to pay. But what the heck, this recipe intrigued me, and I figured I could just eat the leftover Nutella, bananas, and croissants—which I did, minus the Nutella. I only bought the small one in the glass container, but I used the whole thing in the recipe.

I was a little nervous, because there wasn’t any vanilla and I had to use packets of granulated white sugar to make the custard and then didn’t find the box of sugar until after I dumped the mixture in the bread bowl … but I was lucky and it was a big old soggy scoop of Nutella heaven. The bowl was licked clean at the dinner and I felt like such an accomplished grown-up because people asked me for the recipe.

This would derail my pudding definition as well. CURSE YOU, FIGGY PUDDING.

But because I made the pudding at my friend’s place, I didn’t have to have the pudding talk with my host family when I had to go against my previous description of budding and add that there’s such a thing as a milk- and starch-based pudding. And because my host family doesn’t believe in dessert, I probably won’t end up making it for them.

So that’s one pudding conversation that was narrowly avoided. I just hope “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” doesn’t play on the ever-present radio, because I would need a Christmas Miracle to explain what a figgy pudding is. Who am I kidding … with my luck, that will probably happen.

Thanksgiving absinthe makes the heart grow fonder

This is my obligatory Thanksgiving-abroad post. Although, I feel like it’s a little different, because I did get a (Frenchified) Thanksgiving dinner thanks to the potluck shindig CIEE threw at the program center.

French Thanksgiving on a plate.

I was surprised, because I hadn’t found any squash or cranberries or sweet potatoes at the markets or grocery stores—but people did, because they brought the traditional Thanksgiving sides and I was super duper excited about that. In fact, I was so pumped about the sweet potatoes that the scoop I scooped was so big and heavy that my flimsy paper plate fell over … so that the sweet potatoes were stuck to the paper tablecloth like SPLAT. Thankfully, no one in the assembly line saw it, but I did have to scoop a smaller ball of sweet potatoes : (

But in addition to those traditional dishes, there was turkey (flown in from an American grocery store, I’ve heard) and mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie and lots and lots of French wine. No cornbread or stuffing, but I was so full at the end of the dinner that it wasn’t that big of a deal. Plus, the Nutella banana croissant pudding I made (it’ll be in the next post, for sure) was a huge hit, so all in all it was a good Wednesday night.

This is the best Nutella banana croissant pudding you’ve ever heard of, right???

It wasn’t Thanksgiving though, but like Tofurkey, it went down like a decent substitute. Usually, Thanksgiving break is the one time in the fall quarter I see my mom. Her parents live outside of Philly, so she’ll drive down with my sister and I’ll take the bus to my grandparents and we all eat together.

But this year—for the first year since my parents split up—is the year of Thanksgiving with my dad. Kind of. I’m thankful that he sacrificed his Thanksgiving Thursday to fly over and arrive in Paris Friday morning. That’s better than cornbread. Plus, I never see him during fall term, so it’s a nice change. He and my step-mom will be here for 10 days, and I’m really looking forward to it.

Like I’ve repeated on here multiple times, he lived in Paris for a couple years so most likely he’ll be showing me around. Although—and I take great pride in this—he never went to a Paris Christmas Market so I’ll get to take him to that. We won’t have to go to the tourist traps and I won’t have to babysit him. And, unlike my mom, he’ll be living close enough that he can meet my host family—which I am nervously excited for. It will be like a merging of two parts of my life.

But what did I do on actual Thanksgiving? Nothing really. Went to class, did homework, walked around my neighborhood, took a nap. My host mom has a cold and took a nap upstairs in the loft, so I accidentally woke her up when I went to get dinner and that made me feel like crap. But she laughed when I told her I was going to an absinthe bar on my Thanksgiving night.

Even the bar looks like an absinthe hallucination…

It’s the same one Anthony Bourdain went to in the first episode of No Reservations so you can expect a blog post about that too. The website is pretty punk, and that’s what the “philosophy of the bar” is telling me about too. Apparently it’s supposed to have the opulence of a 19th century absinthe bar in a 21st century rock karaoke bar. So what’s not to like?

Here’s the link to the clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6t9mWBKs9I

And here’s a link to the bar’s website: http://www.cantada.net/

I’m very excited—and thankful—for this opportunity. Not just to go to the absinthe bar, but to be in Paris, to be able to celebrate time in the fall with my dad, and to be able to write about it all and have an audience. I feel kind of sappy because I’m the only one sitting at my table who is saying what I’m thankful for—and it doesn’t even really feel like Thanksgiving anyway because everyone else’s Facebook statuses are about food and family and football and I don’t have either of those with me today.

But maybe I needed to get away from the food and family and football to realize that it’s just about taking time out of your life to look at it from a different angle (or, you know, writing it all out for a blog post).

Awkward Abroad: David Bowie Killed the Radio Star

I could write a whole blog post about awkward pop-culture conversations I’ve had with my French family. Sad, but true. They said I had the best French out of all of the four girls they’ve hosted, but they’ll probably also say that I was the most awkward. Whatever. I totally earned that superlative.

This is the first awkward conversation that I had with my host family. And, I should add, the one that made me the most upset.

I need to preface this by saying that my French family LOVES the radio the way that Americans during FDR’s fireside chats probably loved the radio. Morning, noon, night: doesn’t matter when but it’s always on. ALWAYS.

And it’s not just the old folks. It’s the twenty-three-year-old daughter too. Which floors me the most, since she’s practically my age and I don’t ever listen to the radio when I’m home or even when I’m in the car.

Neither of my host parents work, so they’re always in the house and that means the radio is always on. So I could exaggerate and say that the radio plays 24/7 … but it’d actually be truthful if I said the radio plays 12/7. I’m not even kidding. There’s chat radio on when I eat breakfast at 9 a.m. and there’s the “100 percent Jazz” program playing up until dinner at 8 p.m. and then afterwards.

At first I thought it was because of me. Like, I was so awkward and conversationally-challenged they couldn’t stand the silence. But then once I started coming home and finding the radio already on, I started being less self-absorbed. Now, two months in, I cringe whenever I think about how self-absorbed I used to be.

So yeah, no radio silence ever. Mostly it’s talk show programs. But even when it’s music, it’s French or old American jazz and blues. Never stuff I know. Except for one glorious time that I wanted acknowledged and … it was not. Not at all.

I’ll cherish it forever. It was the first English-language song I heard on the radio in Paris. And, coincidentally, it was the first song I recognized, and … IT WAS DAVID BOWIE!

DAVID BOWIE!!!!!!!!!

I mean, I’ve written about my David Bowie obsession and how I always judge record stores by their David Bowie selections no matter what country I’m in.  He’s always on my “Top Five People You’d Want At Your Dinner Party” list, although the David Bowie that I want always varies (mostly on the other guests and who has a drug problem there that specific Bowie might have encouraged).

I thought it was a sign.

It was in my first week of living there, I think. I  was at the kitchen table, doing homework. My host dad was on his desktop computer, sitting behind me. My host mom was at her desktop computer on the other side of the room. We had all been sitting quietly, doing our own thing but listening to the radio together.

“Oh Mon Dieu! C’est David Bowie!” I announced (“OMG, it’s David Bowie!”) as soon as I recognized that first guitar chord of “Ziggy Stardust.”

The way I said it made it seem like I was walking down the street or something and saw David Bowie coming towards me. I was that excited.

However, my host parents’ reactions were not even close to being that excited. They weren’t even excited that I was excited. My host mom looked out past her computer and smiled encouragingly at me for a second before going back to work. My host dad didn’t even turn around.

So I sat there at the table mouthing the lyrics to myself and grinning down at my homework. For the rest of the song.

Just in case that description didn’t do a good job of capturing the moment, I’m going to write it out like it was taken from a scene of a play:

[“Ziggy Stardust” comes on]

Alissa: Oh Mon Dieu! C’est David Bowie!

Host mom: …

Host dad: …

Alissa: …

Alissa in Asia?

A couple days ago in my 20th Century French Novels class, we were discussing Mageurite Dumas’ L’Amant when my teacher asked if any of us had ever been to the countries that used to be in Indochina. I had to bite my lip to stop laughing out loud.

My Irish teacher, who now lives in Paris and, if I remember correctly, used to live in Guadeloupe, seemed surprised that none of us had ever been to Vietnam. “Really?” he asked.

It’s a class of four twenty-year-old girls from America. What do you think, I sarcastically thought.

I would have brushed it off, but earlier this week, my friend Jenn asked me what Birmanie translated to or were it was located, because that’s where her French host family is vacationing. I didn’t know it, I said, but I could look it up. No big deal.

As I did le googling, I assumed Birmanie was the name of a place in the countryside, maybe in the south of France.

Turns out Birmanie is Burma.

Like, the country Burma.

Which is also known as Myanmar.

Which is also known as one of the poorest, undeveloped countries in the world.

Which is also known as—and this is the only other thing I know about that country—the country that had this crazy long period of political instability that put Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest for like twenty years up until 2010 (thanks, Bono, for writing “Walk On” about her and then mentioning her at the two U2 concerts I saw immediately before her release).

Yeah. Burma. And Jenn’s host parents are vacationing there. For twenty days.  Willingly.

So maybe it’s just two occurrences in a week, whatever. But that’s two more occurrences than I’m used to dealing with on a weekly basis. Turns out I’ve been giving myself a thump on the back for living in Europe and meeting people from all over the world (not anywhere in Indochine though!) and yet I still have an extremely narrow-mined view of the world.

I’m still not used to the idea of Asia being something other than a continent on the other side of the world. I’ve never met anyone who’s vacationed there, so of course the idea of someone thinking I might have vacationed there is LOL-worthy, or at least snort-worthy (SOL?)

Basically, I learned that I’ve crossed the Atlantic Ocean but I’ve still got a long way to go.

I don’t think I’ll go to Asia in the month and a half I have left in Europe. But now that I am going to try to start thinking of it as a possibility, who knows what the future will hold?

P.S. Be honest though. When you saw the blog post title, what was your reaction to “Alissa in Asia?”