Living in Asia

May 23, 2012

Living in Asia ..typical, .tropical amusements

Living in Asia is so full of contrasts and always full of adventure and surprises when you wander about and get a feel for the local people and lifestyle during slow travel. In this photo ,a Chinese man in his rickshaw reads the paper while waiting for a customer. Bicycle Tuk Tuks like these are every where in the city and part of the charm from days gone by.

Life is VERY different in Asia than in the USA or Europe ( which are also very different from one another), yet the basics remain the same no matter where you are traveling or expat living. One adapts fairly easy to the changes when you do a family long stay and this second time here makes it easier.

It's hot, gritty and often crowded and very dirty on the streets in Asia. So much life takes place outside because of the tropical heat in SE Asia, including much of their eating at Hawker Stalls and such, that we regularly see huge rats at bus stops and hanging out. My child even saw one at her Mandarin School. It's common to see people plucking dead chickens, chopping fish, cooking outside or see beggars without legs or wheelchairs at the wet markets.

Life in developing Asia out on the streets is much more third world, than life in my luxury apartment in Penang, or the air conditioned movies and  malls. It can be an exciting adventure, but it can also be exhausting and sensory overloading. You never know what you are going to see as you dodge traffic to cross a street literally taking your life in your hands ( DaVinci has been almost run over more than once) or look for a store down tiny, crowded, filthy, alley ways. Sometimes it is a beautiful temple, sometimes a relaxed worker like above, sometimes wild dogs, or sometimes something quite startling.

Have you been to Asia? What most surprised or delighted you?

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Lifecruiser Travel

It sure looks different from what I've seen and read about. We have never been in Asia, though we were close to getting to Southeast Asia in Jan 2005. We already had booked flight tickets and all to Malaysia and then to the Philippines, when we both got Pneumonia at the same time - and the Tsunami did hit the coast where we would have stayed! It took us half a year to recover and then we went to South America instead!

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Wow, interesting story LT! God was looking after you for sure. We just had a tsunami warning here and felt the big earthquake underwater in nearby Indonesia which was similar to what caused the disaster in 2005. Scary, but rare so all passed fine this time ( in 2005 many were killed here too, but nearby Thailand was harder hit).

Asia is full of contrasts and surprises. We've explored and been to Thailand, Malaysia, Bhutan, Singapore, Hong Kong..rural and city areas, but want to do much more exploring.

Frankly, we like Europe much better than Asia in many ways, but it is growing on us as we adapt and get to know it better.


Sure is real different specially in little city or town, here in Singapore is almost the same as America Lot hawker center sure. Lot of different Asian culture on a little island but no living chicken on motorbike :). Bangkok still a jungle culture exception !

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Yes, Bobby, Asia is truly another world and the contrasts still amaze us. The rural areas are VERY different. Singapore is a lot cleaner than most Asian cities..thanks to strict rules like throwing people in jail or huge fines for bubble gum and such. ;) BUT Singapore is also VERY expensive so a rich banking city like Hong Kong that has more money to clean up.

My Singaporean friend who has lived in both LA and Singapore finds the two countries VERY different.

All the contrasts, many cultures and the "jungle culture" is part of what makes Asia always interesting. ;)


We visited Japan. What surprised us? How friendly everyone was to us despite the history of our countries! They even wanted to take our photos! I also was suprised not to see tween-aged children. My understanding is that they are busy with music lessons, tutors, etc - and trying to get into the best high schools.

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Interesting Dana, thanks for the info! Asians do seem to really like Caucasians, perhaps because they don't see too many of us.

I am always amazed in malls where 99% of the shoppers are Asia, 99% of the photos, mannequins, adverts etc are Caucasians.

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