You Know You're A Southeast Asia Local When

Maybe you’ve been living in Southeast Asia as a digital nomad, or perhaps you’re teaching there, studying, or have been traveling there for months or years on end. Whatever your reason for visiting this warm, delicious, beautiful part of the world, you’re sure to identify with the following signs that you’re now a Southeast Asia local: 

 

1) Your day is kind of ruined because your favorite fruit shake stand is closed

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2) You feel like a total jerk if all you have to pay with is a large bill or you don’t have exact change

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3) You feel like a boss because you withdraw anywhere from thousands to millions of local currency when you go to the ATM (even though this is only like $100 back home)

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4) Every meal is cause for much excitement because it will be cheap and it will be delicious

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5) You’ve gotten kind of used to waiting 5 minutes for a page (or a .gif) to load on the slow internet

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6) You’ve eaten enough rice and noodle dishes to last a lifetime

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7) You get kind of embarrassed when unseasoned, rowdy Western tourists sit near you, hoping that the locals don’t think you’re together

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8) Though you’ve encountered all manner of bathroom, it doesn’t make the bad ones any easier to deal with

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9) You feel pretty cool the first time you’re able to order food or conduct a transaction successfully in the local language

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10) You feel even cooler when the locals recognize and say hi to you when you pass by

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11) You see something you really want at the night market, but know to play it cool so that the haggling goes more smoothly 

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12) Unless you really want it, then you’ll just pay the asking price

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13) You realize you got a word completely wrong, and now you’re buying a ticket for the wrong bus, getting extra fermented fish sauce in your soup, or some other unfortunate outcome

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14) You kind of, sort of, almost know what you just ordered for dinner

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15) Despite sometimes ordering the wrong food, losing your shoes because you’ve had to leave them in a pile outside, getting caught in a torrential monsoon when you just went around the corner to buy water, or when things get lost in translation, you’re still so dang happy to be in Southeast Asia, and wouldn’t trade it for anything

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19 October 2017
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