Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Ask Questions: Investigating my Daily Routine

Well! Đó là ngày 7- It's day 7 of my 24 days of content, and today, I give you something I should have done a long time ago: question my daily routine. Not in the sense of "OH GOD WHAT AM I DOING HERE" existential distress questioning, but more like, "What do I do every day, and what could I possibly be missing out on by falling into a routine?"

I began my day with a fantastic breakfast- not the one I was expecting, but delightful nonetheless. (A word of warning to linguiphobes: I'm going to slowly sneak more and more Vietnamese into my blog, because learning Vietnamese is critical to making great impressions, having fun, and simply showing respect in Vietnam).

Utterly starving before work, I wandered into a tiny sliver of a restaurant and found a menu that said "bánh mì bơ." Now, I simply did not know the difference between "bò" and "bơ," which are "beef" and "butter, respectively. I opened my sandwich, anticipating the divine aroma of slow-cooked meat, only to discover that I had made a grievous error (according only to my stomach at the time).

Now, let's get one thing straight- that was the most delicious bánh mì I've had in months, and I'm going back for more tomorrow. However, it was what led me there that's most important. I passed by the restaurant, and asked, "Why am I not sating my hunger at this place giving off such an alluring scent?" I did, and it was more than worth the 12,000 VND (like, 50 cents in USD) to wander off my beaten path and mistakenly order bread and butter.

The decor in this little joint is beautiful. And it goes well with butter. 

This is a habit I must let grow and blossom, fertilized by my ever-increasing curiosity and watered by my daily conversations with my awesome colleagues and, of course, by Hữu Ngọc's wonderful tome, a few pages of which I read every morning at 5:30 AM. Question your routine. Stumble through the unknown to find something delicious. Ask questions.

Today, I asked myself some questions, but what about the future? I asked a friend Mitch, a former colleague and teacher in Hải Phòng, how he manages to meet and talk with so many interesting people. I could have easily given back into my tendency to introversion, but by just asking a question, I learned how to ask more questions. Stay tuned: I'm planning to stumble my way through every question I can manage in the coming days and weeks of the people I see in my daily routine. So, don't just question the routine- question those who make your routine what it is.