The thing that I have grown to love the most in my retirement in The Isaan and travelling in Lao – even though at times it is frustrating – is having to learn not only new things, but new ways of responding, new ways of doing, as -- yes, even unlearning some old ways.
It’s like not just some new countries, but a whole new world!
At my age, “It Don’t Come Easy.” Yeah, when you’re young, learning new stuff comes easily, but when you’re hok sip see (64), it’s not only harder to learn new ways of being, but your response time is slower. What is hardest of all is sometimes you have to unlearn something that’s been part of you for decades.
You learn things “On The Road.” Travelling forces you to learn new ways of doing. How successful you are at travelling or just being in a foreign environment is not only how well you adapt, but how well you adopt your own ways of dealing with the New Reality.
The thing about not declining an invitation; yeah, that’s one. Another is never declining offered food. Another is to make sure to bring or buy your own to share. If you don’t get out of the Western mode of aloofness, then you will never know what you missed; never make it possible for something larger and more meaningful to happen; never ever have that same moment’s opportunity to make someone feel good because they opened themselves up to you. It’s just a space in time. You have to grab it quickly.