How To Tell You’ve Spent Too Much Time In Asia


The durian fruit smells good to you.

Known for its repulsive scent and often banned from public spaces like trains and schools, this fruit becomes part of the Asian aroma. It once made you want to puke, but now you find the smell quite sweet.

Seeing a family of five on a motorbike seems more efficient than crazy.

An entire family, crammed onto a motorbike, infant and all, seems quite normal to you now. They can weave in and out of traffic much faster than those in a car and you don’t even blink at the fact that not one of them is wearing a helmet.

Seeing fried bugs for sale is just as normal as popcorn.

The stands are not actually set up to make the tourists squirm but are there because these critters make a delicious, salty and crispy snack to enjoy while walking around the markets.

You’ve forgotten what beer with hops tastes like and you are okay with that.

Before coming to Asia, you may have been a bit of a beer snob and the watered down brews common in these parts really got you down. Now, you have become accustomed to tasteless bottles and don’t even mind the lack of IPAs anymore.

You think that a kitchen without a rice cooker is incomplete.

The rice cooker is now as commonplace to you as a toaster and you wouldn’t dream of living without one in your kitchen. In fact, decisions about renting apartments in Asia depend heavily on the presence of this appliance.

Shopping in a grocery store for produce now seems strange.

After becoming so used to bargain hunting in the markets and waving down the mobile fruit carts, shopping in the grocery store for prettily packaged produce now seems strange and unnecessary.

Your refrigerator always has at least one bottle of soy sauce.

This condiment is your new version of ketchup and you wouldn’t dream of letting your stock run dry.

You know how to drive a motorbike.

It’s the preferred mode of transportation in many places around Asia and in order to get around, you had to learn how to drive one of these bad boys.

Hearing your own language startles you.

You have grown accustomed to not understanding and tuning into conversations that go on around you because you can’t understand the language. Every time you do hear a bit of your own language, you are quite surprised indeed.

Sketchy toilets are your new norm.

Squat toilets, stalls without doors, no toilet paper, hoses for rinsing off, and buckets of water to replace flushers have all been a part of your toilet experience and you are now well versed in all of these obstacles.

Nothing surprises or shocks you anymore

When your friends from home come to visit you and are constantly pointing out shocking scenes, you can barely muster a grumble and a shrug because it is just as normal to you as anything else back home….in fact…maybe more.