We enjoy the time we had while on a vacation and would set back to our place resuming what we were originally doing when it ends, suffering from holiday-withdrawal syndromes at times. But for a Gap Year that would take one to different countries, it requires the body to deal with the time differences/ jet lag and not just that, the mind itself is another interesting thing.
Living in Singapore, and frequently visiting Malaysia, the first race with brown-skin that comes into my mind would be Malay. I remember replying automatically in Malay apa? (What?) during the first few days in Central America when I do not get something. And when I returned to United States after 6 months of Latin America, I was replying in Spanish instead of English. It was hard to switch back.With Spanish still fresh in my mind, I flew to Romania where I picked up a few words during my stay there. Like in United States, I would reply in Spanish first and then correct myself. It was until a few weeks later that my mind registered which country am I in, though was still confused with these 2 languages and used a mix of both in a sentence occasionally. I can see that the mind was rather confused. Then something gave me quite a shock recently.
While shopping back home in Singapore few days ago, I saw this poster promoting a “MULTI” benefits card. My first thought when I saw that poster was “What!? Is that Romanian I read there?”. In Romanian “La Multi Ani” means “Happy Birthday!/ Happy New Year!”. I understand the usage of other languages such as French, but Romanian that is not well-known of… at least not in Singapore. I even went ahead to asked the staff if that is Romanian and why did they use the language, if they were a Romanian brand et cetera. My confused-looking friend then turned to me and asked ” isn’t that multi? (pronouncing it in English)”. Then I realised I was muddled even with my own language.
Maybe this is the result of long-term travel, or do people return home from a vacation having the same experience as mine?