Welcome to our new fun section of our blog! Our family moved to Asia in March of 2013. It’s been a wonderful, bizarre, and adventurous move. This blog will chronicle some of the funny things we see, stories we hear, attempt to explain cultural differences, and hopefully be a way for you to enjoy a different country via the web by yourself or with your own children.
We want to honor the local culture, so none of what we write about is meant to make them feel badly. But in pointing out obvious cultural differences, there will be topics that can seem negative. Please know our heart is not to dishonor this country or her lovely people, rather to just share differences through the eyes of a foreigner.
An appropriate way to begin seems to be with food. We all have to eat, so all can relate. Anyone who knows anything about Americans will know that we have a very clean culture. We like to wash our hands with soap, eat at clean restaurants, and know that our food has been handled with care, boxed cleanly, shipped and delivered in a timely manner.
We now have a new normal. Would you eat at a restaurant where you see all of the days’ produce lying all over the sidewalk and street, not even on a tarp or piece of plastic?
What about where veggies are laid out on an electric bike?
Or the worst, where a dog walking along on the sidewalk is seen peeing on potatoes waiting to be peeled?
These are things we get to consider daily! Oh, the joy! Where do we draw the line on how badly food is prepared and handled? Is it okay to ingest street grime and pebbles? Dirt from the bike? Dog pee? Is simply not getting sick off of a meal enough of a goal or should we aim a little higher? I don’t know answers to these questions; I am just pondering and loosening up my standards. So restaurants are always a bit dodgy as you never know what you’re getting.
But at home I have more ability to clean my food. We now have an oxidizer that supposedly purifies your food. We put our vegetables, fruit, meat, and eggs in a tub of water and oxidize it for 20-30 minutes before cooking. This is something foreigners use, but not so much the locals. They just cook everything and consider it gross that we eat raw veggies. Can you imagine never eating a green salad? Carrot sticks? Some things we Westerners just take for granted. Now I am more thankful for raw vegetables in the US! And I am thankful for my oxidizer.