Sunday, October 4, 2009

We're Not in Kansas Anymore!

So I had a major "culture shock" moment this week...

There is this Indian restaurant across the street from our school that is very popular with the staff. The food is awesome and inexpensive. The waitstaff all know who the Dalat staff are and my family and I eat there probably three times a week.

This is an outdoor restaurant of sorts. It is a long rectangle covered by a roof but no walls. At the far end there is a small "play area" for kids that has a swing and a teeter-totter. It is over dirt, though, and it is the rainy season so it can get pretty muddy.

My kids were down at that end playing while John and I waited for our food to come. Alex apparently fell off the swing and splat! right into the mud. We didn't see it but Kyle ran up to us and told us that Alex fell off the swing so we naturally ran to see if he was OK. What we saw next is something I would NEVER have seen in the U.S......

Two waiters had picked Alex up out of the mud (he was covered in it, literally) and had taken off his shorts and shirt and were rinsing them off with a hose. The other waiter was rinsing Alex off. They then laid out his shorts and shirt in the sun to dry and sent him to us to his underwear.

Now I ask you, if this happened at say, Applebee's in the U.S., if your child got covered in something like, I don't know, ketchup I guess, and you weren't right there to clean him up and your waiter who "knows" you (as in you are a regular) took your child's clothes off to rinse them out, what would happen?

He would be arrested of course.

But not in Malaysia! :) They definitely have the "it takes a village to raise a child" mentality. No one in the restaurant even blinked at the whole scene including the fact that my son ate dinner in his underwear!

John and I thought the whole thing was hilarious, Kyle was mortified but puberty seems to make him mortified at everything these days! And of course, Alex was not hurt and thought eating in his underwear was awesome.

I am definitely not in Kansas anymore.