Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Reverse Culture Shock #5

(PICTURE: Lilah and me.)

Here's a big reverse culture shock: I'm around lots of babies.

One thing you notice in your mid to late twenties is that you're rarely around babies. If I had to guesstimate, I would say that maybe 5 times a year between 2001-2008 I was around infants. Sure there is the occasional coworker with a baby but none of your friends are popping out kids till you're usually around 26 at the earliest. I wouldn't say I'm nervous around babies but, well, I'm just not 100% comfortable. To me it's like the first time your dad gives you his car keys. You know what you should and shouldn't do but you're still slightly frightened you're going to do something wrong.

In Vietnam I often hung out with Huyen's nephew Viet Hoang. However, Viet Hoang is two years old which is a whole different world compared to a ten month old. And well, Vietnam is a whole different world than America. In 'Nam you drive 2 year olds on your motorbike. I'm pretty sure if you did that here you'd lose custody of your kid in a heartbeat. That said, one thing that Lilah and Viet Hoang due have in common is that neither speaks English. Kids are the same everywhere in this regards -- if you smile and make stupid faces, they'll love you.