Heading for my first R&R

I was finally heading for my first R&R (vacation) after 4 months. The tickets purchased,Image

I was finally heading for my first R&R (vacation) after 4 months. The tickets purchased, hotel reservations confirmed, bags almost packed. You know that excitement, of heading someplace new and you can’t wait to get there.

As I’m walking to the other side the office I hear something NO woman anywhere wants to hear, “Stella, you’re gaining weight”. I turned around and looked at Nava and said, “Pardon me” (thinking she would recant) and she said again, with a smile no less, “Stella, you’re gaining weight, and from behind you can really tell.” Oh great, how do I enjoy my vacation now?

I still went on my fabulous vacation, but for several days all I still heard that little voice saying my back side was getting big.

One of our first outings in London was a little tea house. Chuck and I decided to walk (actually I think it was my idea to walk) around the neighborhood and find some place to have a late lunch. His flight landed 90 minutes after mine and by the time we settled into our hotel we were hungry. We happened upon this cute little tea house, looked at the menu and decided to give it a try. While looking at the menu I decided to have some caffeine (my body clock was running 8 hours ahead of London), when the waitress approached the table I said, I’ll get the cappuccino. She didn’t miss a beat, she said, how about I get it and you just drink it. There’s that American vs English (see my previous post on this blog). I smiled and thanked her (no tip).Image

After 4 days in London we took the Euro Train to Paris, while there the weather turned a bit cooler than I planned and decided to purchase a pair jeans. I asked the young lady at the front desk where I could buy a pair of jeans, she smiled and said ‘No’. I said, ‘you mean because I’m American size?’ ‘Yes’. I was wondering at this point if she is friends with Nava. Lesson learned, if I ever return to Europe buy my jeans in London, they have American size people.

One of the things I noticed while in London, there are a lot of US sized people, while in Paris all the nationals appear to be slim, not skinny, but slim. I decided I want to be Parisian, so I started watching their habits. The only people you see walking and eating or drink soda are tourist, and you know they’re tourist because of their size. The difference was they sit and enjoy their coffee and food.

While Chuck got a massage I ventured into a little boutique to window shop. When approached by the clerk I didn’t want to embarrass myself again, I smile and said just looking, American size. She said, ‘oh no I have’, and she did, so I bought a beautiful blouse to treasure from my trip, of course later when I did the conversion euro to dollars, I realized this blouse will hold a special place in my closet for a long time.

Upon returning back to Malaysia I had a meeting notice to attend a culture awareness class. ‘Really, I’ve just returned from a two week vacation, I don’t time to spend a full day discussing whatever.’ But I went, not happy to go but it wasn’t optional. I learned a lot in this class. Saving face is huge, and by the end of the class I was honestly surprised the nationals still talk to us. Examples, if they ask a question, you’re to stop and answer it then, not offer to come back when you have a moment, if they are socializing and the work is mounting, just smile, they’ll get to it. And the winner was if they tell you you’re fat, it’s a sign of caring. I didn’t buy into that one easily, I’m a woman, I don’t want to hear it.

A few days later Nava stopped me and wanted to share something that had happened. She had called another one of her friends at work fat (yes, she’s brutal) and one of the managers overheard it and called her into his office and told her that isn’t nice to not do that. She wanted to know from me if that was true. I said, ‘yes, it isn’t accepted behavior in the States’. She was shocked; she wanted to know what she said to our friends when they gained weight. When I told her we don’t acknowledge the gain, we acknowledge the loss. What really seemed strange to her, was when I said ‘Nava, do you think people don’t know they are gaining weight? Do you think they aren’t aware their clothes aren’t fitting right?’ She said ‘yes, but I’m your friend, I want to let you know’…..I didn’t see this conversation ending well, someone was going to lose face, so I smiled and walked away.

So as I readjust to life in Mountasia, I’m learning that being brutally honest is a sign of caring by some. I’m also learning to eat like a Parisian, and I’m happy to report, I’ve lost a 1/2 pound. Do you think Nava will notice?

hotel reservations confirmed, bags almost packed. You know that excitement, of heading someplace new and you can’t wait to get there.

As I’m walking to the other side the office I hear something NO woman anywhere wants to hear, “Stella, you’re gaining weight”. I turned around and looked at Nava and said, “Pardon me” (thinking she would recant) and she said again, with a smile no less, “Stella, you’re gaining weight, and from behind you can really tell.” Oh great, how do I enjoy my vacation now?

I still went on my fabulous vacation, but for several days all I still heard that little voice saying my back side was getting big.

One of our first outings in London was a little tea house. Chuck and I decided to walk (actually I think it was my idea to walk) around the neighborhood and find some place to have a late lunch. His flight landed 90 minutes after mine and by the time we settled into our hotel we were hungry. We happened upon this cute little tea house, looked at the menu and decided to give it a try. While looking at the menu I decided to have some caffeine (my body clock was running 8 hours ahead of London), when the waitress approached the table I said, I’ll get the cappuccino. She didn’t miss a beat, she said, how about I get it and you just drink it. There’s that American vs English (see my previous post on this blog). I smiled and thanked her (no tip).

After 4 days in London we took the Euro Train to Paris, while there the weather turned a bit cooler than I planned and decided to purchase a pair jeans. I asked the young lady at the front desk where I could buy a pair of jeans, she smiled and said ‘No’. I said, ‘you mean because I’m American size?’ ‘Yes’. I was wondering at this point if she is friends with Nava. Lesson learned, if I ever return to Europe buy my jeans in London, they have American size people.

One of the things I noticed while in London, there are a lot of US sized people, while in Paris all the nationals appear to be slim, not skinny, but slim. I decided I want to be Parisian, so I started watching their habits. The only people you see walking and eating or drink soda are tourist, and you know they’re tourist because of their size. The difference was they sit and enjoy their coffee and food.

While Chuck got a massage I ventured into a little boutique to window shop. When approached by the clerk I didn’t want to embarrass myself again, I smile and said just looking, American size. She said, ‘oh no I have’, and she did, so I bought a beautiful blouse to treasure from my trip, of course later when I did the conversion euro to dollars, I realized this blouse will hold a special place in my closet for a long time.

Upon returning back to Malaysia I had a meeting notice to attend a culture awareness class. ‘Really, I’ve just returned from a two week vacation, I don’t time to spend a full day discussing whatever.’ But I went, not happy to go but it wasn’t optional. I learned a lot in this class. Saving face is huge, and by the end of the class I was honestly surprised the nationals still talk to us. Examples, if they ask a question, you’re to stop and answer it then, not offer to come back when you have a moment, if they are socializing and the work is mounting, just smile, they’ll get to it. And the winner was if they tell you you’re fat, it’s a sign of caring. I didn’t buy into that one easily, I’m a woman, I don’t want to hear it.

A few days later Nava stopped me and wanted to share something that had happened. She had called another one of her friends at work fat (yes, she’s brutal) and one of the managers overheard it and called her into his office and told her that isn’t nice to not do that. She wanted to know from me if that was true. I said, ‘yes, it isn’t accepted behavior in the States’. She was shocked; she wanted to know what she said to our friends when they gained weight. When I told her we don’t acknowledge the gain, we acknowledge the loss. What really seemed strange to her, was when I said ‘Nava, do you think people don’t know they are gaining weight? Do you think they aren’t aware their clothes aren’t fitting right?’ She said ‘yes, but I’m your friend, I want to let you know’…..I didn’t see this conversation ending well, someone was going to lose face, so I smiled and walked away.

So as I readjust to life in Mountasia, I’m learning that being brutally honest is a sign of caring by some. I’m also learning to eat like a Parisian, and I’m happy to report, I’ve lost a 1/2 pound. Do you think Nava will notice?

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