Lights Out

So I’ve been traveling in southeast Asia. I’ve seen and learned a lot. This post really has nothing to do with that.

Light Switch It’s really just an observation—Asian people must be kind. Or at least lacking in that humorous malice that Westerners specialize in.

Here’s where I’m coming from. It’s a relatively standard Asian engineering practice to place light switches outside the rooms they affect. So, to turn on the lights in the bathroom, you hit the switch in the hall on your way in. It works. I’ve used these switches for months and, after three or four nights of gently probing the wall in the dark, didn’t think much about it. Then I started sharing living spaces with other people, and I found myself a little worried that someone might accidentally turn the lights off on me. I quickly reassured myself by recalling the complete absence of any such prior occurrences, but I still wondered.

And then I imagined what it would have been like to grow up that way. I had siblings. I think I would have either developed bat-shaming night vision or had a flashlight surgically planted in my head. Seriously, I can’t imagine that ever getting old—it’s always an inconvenience to have the lights turned off on you, and others’ inconveniences are continual founts of juvenile joy.

But it’s not the slightest problem here. There’s a lesson to learn from Asia. Or, optionally, one to teach.

2 Replies to “Lights Out”

  1. With the exception of a few African tribes, I would have to agree that Westerners are among the most malicious. And for the record, I turned the lights out on my siblings on more than one occasion when we lived in France and had a similar outside light switch.

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