TWO songs for you. After hours and hours spent listening to the radio in various rental cars over the past 6 weeks, the two from-opposite-ends-of-any-spectrum songs I’ve bothered to buy on itunes (which says a lot – I rarely buy music) are: Phosphorescent’s ethereal, brooding ballad that I thought was Tom Petty at first and Icona Pop’s snappy, driving techno-cheer. (Click on the blue to hear ’em on youtube.)
1. Contacts. Why are contact lenses treated like a dang controlled substance? You can’t buy them without a prescription which can only be gotten from a legitimate eye-place at a drawn-out appointment that’ll run around $100. The contacts themselves have to be ordered and the prescription only lasts a year. Why?! In Singapore and Vietnam I’d be like, “Got any +3.0 powered contacts?” And they were like, “Fo’ sho’! How many you need, baby?” I can walk in off the street and buy reading glasses in the US. Why can’t I be trusted to buy some stupid contacts?!
2. Cell Phone Plans. My pay-as-you-go cell service in Hong Kong cost $12 every 3 weeks. Similar service in Singapore cost $18 for the month. In Vietnam, $4 got me three months of service. How are these countries able to deliver a service so cheaply that starts at $40/month in the US? It’s a racket!
TWO things I noticed since being back: 1. Banter / repartee. Strangers will readily make friendly, passing comments to one another. For example, if you’re in a line and the guy in front of you has been waiting awhile, he might say, “I don’t know if the other agents all went on break at the same time or what! [chuckle, chuckle]” I feel like this wouldn’t happen in the places I’ve been recently; like people there are more to themselves. Or more serious. Or focused. And before you think it’s just me, it’s not. They don’t seem to chat amongst themselves either.
2. People hold things in their mouths. I see this at US airports a lot: people curling their lips over their teeth and holding their boarding passes while they do something with their hands. I’ve seen papers, pens, and even a backpack being held in the mouth. I’ve never seen anyone in Asia (HK, Vietnam and Singapore) hold anything by mouth and I can’t imagine it.
Battle of TWO cities: I spent several hundreds of miles debating where to go next: Shanghai, to continue my Asia exploration or to Peru, to visit Fiona, my college roommate and possibly stay awhile (if I can find work.) I decided on Peru because she’ll only be there for another year. So basically Shanghai can wait. Peru can’t.
And here I am thinking about all this on the I-5. 🙂