Asians and Americans: Darkness, Animals, and Wide Open Spaces

Asians and Americans: Darkness, Animals, and Wide Open Spaces.

Wednesday May 8, 2013

In the car, trapped in the ever-present traffic (made even worse because of protests over the recent elections in Kuala Lumpur), we had a conversation with Raymond, who’s originally from Singapore, and CK, from Kuala Lumpur (known here as KL). CK talked about living in the US for a while, in one of the northern Chicago suburbs. He said he was terrified because he was staying in a big house by himself. The house was too big; no people were around. Then he said it got pitch black at night – he held his hand in front of his face and said, “You couldn’t see someone this far away.” This, accompanied by his fear that a coyote might be in the area, caused him to run from the house to the car at night. He was relieved to return to Asia.

This conversation repeated itself so often with our Asian friends, often accompanied by laughter at the size of Sheboygan (or even funnier Elkhart Lake) compared to the glittering capitals of Asia.

Ever present crowds in Asia…


Contrast this to the “American” attitude toward space, darkness, and animals. Many of us “country mice” (people who live on small lakes and shop at Fleet Farm) relish the idea of getting away from city lights to see the stars at night (ahhhh, Grand Cayman). Many of us find ultimate peace in huge open places (hmmm, the horseback trip into the Bob Marshall Wilderness of Montana, to places where no more than 100 humans set foot every year), and many of us do not feel comfort in masses of people, elbowing their ways in metros and shops. (Ahhh, the pier at Elkhart Lake.)


Typical metro scene – this one in Bangkok:


Here’s a dude on the metro in Bangkok, my award for “outfit for the day.” Yes, that’s a headscarf under the cowboy hat. So picture this guy with Rocky (our Montana guide) in the Montana wilderness.

And as for animals – don’t even get me started. I miss Murphy too much.


The weekend market in Bangkok. Sweet dogs. But pets are not common for the Thais – and far too many dogs are collarless and living on the streets.


Murphy always wants to go along.


Ah – the pier at Elkhart, and the ultimate American when it comes to space, animals, and starlight – our son-in-law TJ.


And Ethan – our animal-lover grandson.

So – people around the world are vastly different in what makes them feel safe and blessed. But isn’t it nice that people – the lucky ones – love what they have?

(And we know we are right anyway.)

Martha – Madly Traveling Asia with Faucet Marketing Husband

Location:Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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2 thoughts on “Asians and Americans: Darkness, Animals, and Wide Open Spaces

  1. Martha–I have been reading all your blogs religiously—-on my iPhone—-did not have wi-fi at the house in Sheboygan —-so don’t stop. I read with enthusiasm. Loved the batiking—-your artwork was fabulous.
    Keep it coming!!!!

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