I feel like a celebrity when…

-students part ways, separating a path like water around an island, so I can walk through.

-students “sneak” photographs of me on their phones while I’m teaching.

-random locals shout “hello!” as I cruise by on my scooter.

-the little girls who live directly behind me come over just to visit and play hopscotch or play in the mud.

-the baristas and cooks around town remember what I like after only one order, and they often give me something special like a piece of crab or an extra little scoop out of generosity.

-people drive by my house and stare, often multiple times, if I’m sitting on the porch.

-I board a public bus and everybody looks shocked.

-I don’t have to wait in line anywhere.

-I get upgraded to VIP (aka the front seat) of a song-tao bus, a pickup where passengers ride in the back.

-I sit at a coffee shop (like I am now) and three children “hide” behind a bush taking photographs like paparazzi while two more sit in the park across the street watching me, and I pretend not to notice because it’s so darn cute.

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