Funny conversations/happenings with mostly Europeans
– In Australia I had a roommate in my hostel who was from Switzerland. He was rad, and we had several really engaging intellectual conversations AND we had lots of fun gallivanting around Cairns but he couldn’t seem to understand that Taiwanese people were/can be ethnically different from Chinese people (or that Taiwan is separate from China). He was like, “Taiwan started existing 59 years ago, how could they be ethnically different?” I tried to explain that there have been various ethnicities inhabiting Taiwan who mixed with the Chinese so it could be argued that they are no longer really Chinese. It was interesting engaging in a conversation with someone who hadn’t necessarily studied Asian studies but was still very intelligent.
-Had an entertaining conversation with my Swiss and British roommates at my hole-in-the-wall hostel about phrases Americans say. Then they were saying it in their accents. For example: *imagine deep British accent* “Oh my goddddd“… “like totallllly.”
-I had another British roommate. He was in Australia on a working holiday. He talked about how in his first few days in Sydney he bought a I 💗Sydney t-shirt. We were laughing at the touristy-nature of it all and then proceeded to show me some British guys that went to LA and bought American shorts, shirts, and sunglasses and wore them out to “engage with the locals” and it was just the hardest I’ve laughed in a long time. Go watch it now. Excuse the language in it though.
-Met some really cool Irish/English people on my Barefoot tour (Which, by the way, was one of my favorite activities throughout my entire trip, I highly recommend it. My featured image is from one of the waterfalls..) and we met up for drinks later. We went to a place called Salt House on a Monday and they had a $4 drink special.
Anyway, we got drinks and headed to an area we could sit down and chat at.
Notice how the area around the seats looks like clear glass floor? While we were walking one of the guys tried to take a shortcut through that “walkway” but it turned out to be a very still pool. He realized his mistake once he had plunged into the water and we all laughed our heads off.
Later some Dutch girls we knew from the tour did the same thing and we all damn near died from laughing so hard.
With a combination of those humans we eventually started talking about Ireland. Apparently July 12th is the equivalent of their July 4th, and people have huge bonfires to celebrate. But with the Protestant/Catholic divide, sometimes it’s dangerous. Apparently the Protestants like to burn the stuff on the 12th and the Catholics try to burn the stuff down beforehand.
Lastly with this group of Europeans, we played a game called “odds.” Basically it was like truth or dare but involved a little bit of probability. Someone says something like, “ask xyz to marry you” and you would then play your odds with everyone playing. You may say 1 to 20 and then you pick a # from 1 to 20 and the other person picks a # from 1-20 and then you count to 3 and if you say the same # then you have to ask that person to marry you. This was hilarious. **Since returning to the States I have discovered that I live under a rock and this game is played all over the world, not just by cute Irish pre-med kids. Still, it was fun.**
-In Australia at the hole-in-wall hostel I had a conversation with the man from Switzerland about China. Specifically about how pre-Olympics babies in China would straight up have a hole in the crotch in the pants of their baby clothes so they can do their thing without much hindrance. He didn’t believe me. Let’s just say I had to give him photographic evidence.
-Learned about some hilarious comedians, Hamish and Andy, from my American-turning-Australian friend and her Australian boyfriend. I found it entertaining b/c my friends boyfriend had heard of stinky tofu only b/c Hamish and Andy had tried it on their show.
-During my time at Angkor Wat, I paid $5 to go up to the top of Angkor Wat before 7:40, the official time that the showing starts. It was magical. I was on top of Angkor Wat and I essentially had it all to myself. I did notice a couple walking around and at one point asked them to take my photo on my DSLR. The lady agreed in broken English. After taking my photo, I asked where they were from? Turns out they were from Russia. They asked where I was from and I told them the States. The husband asked which state? I told him Kansas. He immediately lit up and said “BASKETBALL.”
So that’s it for now folks, but I really wanted to share these experiences. Honestly, I’ve never been around so many Europeans before and I feel like I learned a lot even from my casual encounters playing in waterfalls and sipping on $4 drinks at Salt House.