I Dare You

I Dare You

Transitioning from an ESL teacher in a foreign country to a ____ in this country
Ain’t so easy
I dare you

I dare you
To dream a life abroad
To meet and work with people
Of a different culture
And a different language

I dare you
To leave your friends and family
To engage in an adventure of a lifetime
A sense of wanderlust
Go where you have never gone before

I dare you
To gangbei with baijiu
To eat congealed pig’s blood
And those calorie saturated mooncakes
And drink warm beer

I dare you
To board a bus with 1.3 billion people
To ride a taxi
With a driver on his cell phone
Driving into oncoming traffic

I dare you
To live this lifestyle
To live your dream
For 14 years
Then return to your home country

I dare you
To reconnect with friends whom has since long passed
To make new ones who may not understand you
And encounter strangers who say
“Do you remember me?” or “I know you.”

I dare you
To find a job in this tough economy
To live with a family member
Whom you haven’t seen
In 14 years

I dare you
To encounter a terminally ill family member
To wipe his drool and change his underpants
And learn what a catheter is
On your first night home

I dare you
To be misunderstood
To learn that a carabineer
Is not a body of water off the coast of Florida
And the game football does not involve a net

I dare you
To engage in a new career that is totally out of you league
To deal with clients who don’t know what you have gone through to get here
Yet who love to complain
About your job performance

I dare you
To not cry when you see a new moon in the midnight sky
To long for your previous life
When you hear or read
Stories about your adopted home on the BBC

I dare you
To experience what is called reverse culture shock
To play Rip Van Winkle
And be surrounded by so-called friends
Who expect you to know the latest trends

I dare you
To walk in my shoes
To constantly re-invent yourself
Surround yourself with friends who correct you
Encourage and push you to your limits

I dare you
To take on this challenge I have put forth in this poem
To not say “I understand what you are going through”
When clearly
You have never lived overseas

I dare you
To do something totally out of your league
To get out of your comfort zone
Just like I did
Just like I’m doing right now

I dare you

I have overcome tremendous odds
I have come a very long way
From not knowing what a carabineer is
To finally nailing a doable patrol route


To my naysayers
I ask you
Can you do what I have done?
Can you endure what I have gone through?
Can you do something out of your comfort zone?



2 thoughts on “I Dare You

  1. You covered it all! Why do I keep repeating the experience–to learn, to be surprised again? Maybe my adventure buttom is permanently stuck! Thnx for the poem.Virginia Fortner

    Date: Fri, 29 Apr 2016 05:13:53 +0000 To: vfortner@hotmail.com


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