April 01, 2016

When else

I could complain about this place.

Such as the perpetually non-existent slow internet. And the perpetually life-sucking overcast weather. And the perpetually life-threatening hazardous pollution.

I could complain about the fact that our water gets cut off every afternoon between the hours of 1 and 6, so they can "fix" the pipes below our complex.

I could complain about the infuriating interesting driving habits, or how impossible challenging it is to learn the language. I could complain about the dirty public toilets, or the nose-picking in public (it's not rude to do that here, in their defense).

I could.

But I won't.

Because when else will I buy a coke between classes at the local university and exchange a few words with these two?

When else will we gather on Sundays with two other men named Bright? (All three of these handsome Brights live in East Asia for the same Reason)
The middle Bright is from Ghana. He brought the word last Sunday.

When else will my eldest son chit-chat over takeout with his best girl friend?

When else will I truly appreciate nature, stopping what I'm doing to watch as blossoms break through the drear and pollution as if to say, 'If we can do it, so can you.'

When else will I find myself in the Asian tropics from time to time, sipping curry?

Or stopping to get Daniel a late-night banana rotee?

When else will iced milk-tea come in a bag?

When else will Jubilee eat mango sticky rice in the mall?

When else will Brave cuddle with crumbling panda statues?

When else?

The truth is, never again. Because someday we will live back in America, and we will be eating Sunday potroast with our grandkids, and telling them stories of East Asia. Then I will be longing for this place, and I will be so glad I chose not to complain.