Friday, February 19, 2010

I Can't Dish It But I Can Take It

(PICTURE: The breakfast, lunch and dinner table...or as I like to call it: The place I get laughed at for forty five minutes, three times a day.)

Everyone knows the old saying, "You can dish it but you can't take it." Well, over the last couple of years I've been taking it a ton and barely dishing it at all. This is especially true when I visit Huyen's family. Huyen's family is really sweet and well meaning but man, all they do is make fun of me! Here's five things they mocked me over during my first 24 hours at their house for Tet:

1. Trying to speak Vietnamese: "Oh you tried to say ___ but you said ___. Ha! Ha! Ha!"

2. Trying to help out: "Look how you wash dishes!!! Ha! Ha! Ha!"

3. My weak stomach: "Oh your stomach hurts! My stomach is fine. Ha! Ha! Ha!"

4. My lack of appetite from #3: "Oh you only ate two bowls of rice and a few pieces of chicken? You're so weak! Ha! Ha! Ha!"

Actually, I can only think of these four things. However, they do these things a heck of a lot.

I've learned a lot about myself since leaving America; being able to be laughed at and to laugh along is a skill that I think everyone should have. Personally I'm still working on this skill because after a few days in a row of being laughed at I want to yell, "Lets see how you would do in America!"...and then I remember, Huyen is gonna come to America.


Augusts in the USA said...

Huyen, We look forward to teaching you how to use a dishwasher, how to use an oven,to drive a car, and to introduce you to bagels and rye bread,matzo ball soup, brisket and noodle kugel, chocolate layer cake and macaroons, and all the goodies we like. Of course, it will be a little bit at a time so you don't get the Ben stomach ache curse.

lvu said...

I am impressed, Ben. You truly take Huyen and her family. Only few foreigners can do this. Sometime, I hate Vietnamese girls hanging out with “Tay” because I don’t see it is fair for the girl. I recently have been traveling to Africa for work and I usually feel disgusted with the way rich white businessmen and tourists looking at, saying about, and treating the poor there. Well, if you and Huyen come to DC, I would certainly like to invite you guys over for dinner and of course, you don’t have to dish.

@Augusts in the USA: You don’t need to teach Huyen to use the dishwasher. Using the dishwasher is too easy and just takes minutes. But as I recalled, washing dishes by hands was so simple and enjoyable too. It saves a lot of energy and you know, we all worry about global warming.

lvu said...

I mean energy=power.

Benjamin said...

Ivu, I understand how you feel regarding seeing "Tay" and Vietnamese girls. I often cringe in Vietnam (and in Thailand) when I see some couples.

However, there are plenty of couples based on love too which I know you realize. I think when people fall in love they need to fall in love with everything that makes that person who they are. If it wasn't for Huyen's family and upbringing I have no doubt we wouldn't be together now.

We will eventually be in DC (to visit my sister) and will definitely take you up on dinner!

Anonymous said...

although my father is quite older than my mother (15 years) and they truly love each other, I still cringe when i go back to vietnam and will see beautiful 19-20 year old girls on the arm of an obviously 65 year old western retiree. ben and huyen are both young, intelligent ppl and make a cute couple so obviously this doesn't apply to them.