When in Rome

It is inevitable, absolutely inevitable, that when you live overseas people from that culture will ask you questions that make you uncomfortable. Questions that you can’t believe someone is asking with a serious face. You are looking around for the camera and there is none. This is not a joke.

Some of my favorites from my time abroad include: How much money do you make? How much is your rent? Are you rich? You know, the typical questions that people ask Americans.

But, since having a baby I’ve encountered a question I couldn’t have ever imagined. Recently I was buying fresh squeezed grapefruit juice at the market and shooting the breeze with the juice man. Since I was with Ellie, he was asking the usual questions about her. How old is she? Is she a good baby? Is this your only baby? etc. Then came the shocker. How is your milk supply? Oh my. Wow Mister. Bold question. He seemed so sincere, so unapologetic, so concerned that I realized he was genuinely concerned. And, this has happened multiple times since!

Well, I figure, when in Rome, be in Rome. So, when I encountered a pregnant woman recently who currently has a toddler, I asked her how her milk supply had been. She said not great so then I proceeded to do another Hungarian thing and offer unsolicited advice. “Well, you must eat oatmeal everyday. And, you must feed on demand in the early days to get your supply up.” I left that conversation feeling particularly good. I played by the rules- not the ones I’m used to- and survived. You know what they say… When in Budapest…

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