After almost 18 months on the road, with trips home bridging luxuriously long stretches of travel, my brain has turned into a swirling, percolating mess of foreign words. Like most travellers I know, I try at a minimum to learn the basics in any new country's language: how to say "hello" or "thank you", how to ask "why" or "where" and in Asia how to say the word for "dumpling". But the first real expression I try to learn is always the same, no matter where I am on earth: how to say "no problem."
Truly feeling the "no problem" vibe can be difficult when you are intensely entangled in the chaos of a new country. For example, keeping your cool when you've just gotten off an overnight bus, have no idea where you are staying and you also happen to be ravishingly hungry can be an interesting exercise in personal tolerance. But I've found that arming myself with my expression of choice goes a long way toward breaking the ice and finding a new friend in a strange place.
There are no posts. Why not be the first to have your say?
Born in Montreal, Canada, Jodi Ettenberg is a former new media and technology lawyer who quit her job after 5+ years of working…
With an emphatic shake of the head, I was denied my soup.
Tourists head to the Mekong specifically for the floating boat markets at dawn...
Only in Vietnam would negotiating a taxi fare include a road test.
I ate one of the best soups of my life in Mui Ne.
Three days on Isla del Sol, in Lake Titicaca; natural beauty and Inca legends
Differences in daily life between Canada and Peru
Iquitos: the largest and most popular jungle destination in Peru
Madrid's Festival of San Isidro has morphed from a religious procession to a full scale arts festival