The Day When You Became an AdultMarch 03, 2016

Your mother gave you a look, while you recounted your unforgettable moments in Indochina. You managed to steer clear of locals who attempted to rip you and your housemates near the Thai-Cambodian border. You successfully persuaded them not to join the throng in Angkor Wat before sunrise. (You chose Ta Prohm, which turned out to be a surreal experience.) You led them on a tour of the Vietnamese countryside on a motorcycle. These would keep you motivated during your final year in the English Department. It thrown you into adulthood or so you thought. Your mother was amused. You wished she was proud of you, but she saw photos of your trips on Facebook. Sam took pictures of the full-moon party at Koh Rong. You imagined her surprise (and embarrassment).

You recalled your conversation with your tutor many moons ago, which you've been thinking during your idle moments. When do kids become adults? These were the things you learned from that discussion:

Your brain won't tell you to grow up. Roy was the first housemate you met during your first year. You saw an intense person right away. He was the only one who finished his assignment ahead of deadline, while your other housemates planned the next party. (And they thought B.A. English students have time to dust off the window in their room.) He was an introvert, which might have made him mature beyond his years. On the other hand, you don't want to outgrow your childhood. You were responsible, though. (You didn't overspend during your holiday. You came close to call your folks for emergency funds, though.) This particular trait won you new friends in a short time. You would change sooner or later.

Forget science. You endured the slow-boat trip along Mekong River, when Jack posed an interesting question. What would be the right age to get a driver's license? You didn't agree on a particular number. An American backpacker overheard your conversation, and gave his two cents. And then the discussion shifted to R-rated movies. (You didn't notice the reaction of a local a few seats away from you.) You agreed that age was just a number. You thought such things were a matter of geography. In fact, this was where you and Jack agreed on something.

The current generation is a lucky bunch. Your dad told you stories from his younger years, which made you uncomfortable. They didn't have Internet, even budget airlines. And they don't take television for granted. It was a challenging time. His generation thrust into adulthood earlier than you thought. You could assure your parents that you won't get into trouble.

And then your mother asked about the full-moon party. Your were at a loss for words.

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