Friday, June 16, 2017

Foreigner in a foreign land?


You know – some days are just so perfect.  Get up – good coffee, good weather, clean clothes to put on, good meeting, quick (key word) trip to the vet, friendly post office lady helping me pay office bills, helpful custodian at school helping me find a life-size Jenga game, and last but certainly not least…. Kürtőskalács Friday!  Man I love this stuff…it is a Hungarian funnel cake and it is awesome.  Oh and it has been hot and humid and it poured down rain a bit ago so it cooled off  – yaaaaay! 
·      It is amazing – there are maybe more amazing places but it is amazing.
  • ·      Learning a new language…ever so slowly for me
  • ·      Learning new currencies…keeps the brain in the ‘math zone’
  • ·      Adjusting to a new culture—very broad term but lots of history and learning!
  • ·      Getting to drive – I just got to drive 2 hours to Vienna the other day…VIENNA!
  • ·      Not having to drive – amazing public transportation
  • ·      Food – such good Hungarian food
  • ·      Shopping and figuring out what things are and what they are used in and for
  • ·      Getting to cross borders easily! Another country in 2-3 hours?...ok!

May sound like not so much but let me tell you….it is a.maz.ing

And…likewise - I have some scars from days that don’t go so well living in HungaryJ.  For example – my day that I went to OBI (like Home Depot) to buy some new light bulbs so I took the old bulbs in old boxes – and that was a disaster.  I stopped at the customer service desk – understood them to say go and shop for the new ones and then went I got up to the checkout she wanted to scan the old ones and the new ones!  In fact she did – and then I tried to explain – all with pantomime because of language barrier and she was not happy.  I did understand some words she was saying and…well – not good.  So I paid for the new ones and in the meantime she had called somebody that spoke English – so I waited for him to arrive.  Meanwhile I think the people behind me felt bad for me….I kept apologizing to them because I was holding up the line…they were very gracious.  Maybe they weren’t too happy for the delay but gracious.  The English-speaking guy came, I said I just brought the old ones as samples and he was very jovial and I was on my way.  But guess what?  It shook me up – it made me remember that ‘ I am a foreigner in a foreign land’. 
·      It is difficult – there are more difficult places but it is difficult.
  • ·      Language – so much lost in translation (or lack thereof)
  • ·      Currency – what…20,000 Forint is HOW much? (about $72)
  • ·      Culture—very broad term – a stretch for my mind, body and soul
  • ·      Driving and all the legalities and paperwork that goes with that
  • ·      Not driving – public transportation and getting oh so lost
  • ·      Food – yikes…where is my peanut butter, graham crackers and Lucky Charms?!
  • ·      Shopping – ugh…how long will I spend in this silly store figuring things out? Cini-Minis?, keksz? – what?!
  • ·      Borders – ID and all the process and paperwork that goes with that



So I can honestly say that life is good and God is waaaay better but I wanted to share with you some of my amazing day experiences along with not so amazing.  Please know this - I enjoy the people, the work, the beauty – life in general.  Oh, and about being a ‘foreigner in a foreign land’ (Moses said this)-  This was the answer that I enjoy very much – may we all heed these words as we are all foreigners at one point or another...  “‘When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them.  The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God. Lev. 19:33-34.

All my best,
Carol

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