But, the bright side to this uncomfortable post is the wonderful people I have met who have made this transition smoother. The language barrier is made easier when people take the time to slow down what they say, or even when we play a small game of charades when talking. Never be above a game of charades, that's just a good life rule. People taking the time to talk to me to figure out what foods I like, then bringing them to me to make this new place more like home. (Shout out to Teacher Rita who brought me a ham and cheese sandwich to school the other morning after I told her I liked sandwiches!) I know I look and speak much different than the people I am around. But it means so much to me when I get glimmers of those differences being bridged, when my differences aren't the topic of conversation or of looks wherever I am. I am so thankful for the people I have met who have helped me figure out how things work in Malaysia, to help me become more and more like a local.
So, who are the others in your life? The ones you see at the store struggling to communicate with the cashier? The ones who are trying to get from point A to point B but do not know the area to get on the right transportation? How can you help them as they try to acclimate with the new community and culture? Believe me, they will appreciate the help more than you know :)
In the mean time, I'll keep trying to fit in over here by being a head taller than those I walk to work alongside, carrying this massive book with me. Casual.