It’s cockroaches and invading ants. It’s weird croaking lizards that wake you up in the middle of the night, night after night because you don’t know how to catch them or even what they look like if you tried. It’s rats eating the garbage at night because people don’t own trash cans but throw their rubbish into a big heap.
It’s burning rice and taking 45 minutes to finish one meal because it takes you so long to get all of the rice in your mouth using chopsticks. It’s peeing on your shoes multiple times a day, for months on end because you can’t master the squatty potty.
It’s covering your babies cribs with nets to protect them from mosquitoes and hoping that none with malaria sneak in. It’s getting sick and going to the hospital only to have to report to the nurse in front of a room full of people all of your symptoms.
It’s driving in traffic where the only rule of thumb is to “go with the flow”. It’s hitting a man in that traffic and feeling totally justified in saying that is was his fault (which it was, and he agreed and walked off!) It’s crossing the road with cars coming at you full speed in total confidence that they will either stop or weave around you.
It’s having every person and their grandma (especially their grandma) tell you the best way to dress your child, discipline your child, feed your child, play with your child, socialize your child, educate your child, guard your child. It’s not letting your child ever splash in rain puddles because there is a whole universe of nasty on its surface.
To continue reading what missions is really like, join me at A Life Overseas (it does get better!)