Thursday, June 17, 2010

There are certain things....

that show that you are adapting to your new culture.  You learn to accept a new normal and find that things you once thought were unusual are actually pretty usual.
You accept that you will almost be hit by a bus, car, taxi or motorcycle almost every day.
You accept that babies don't wear diapers and that relieving oneself in public is not unusual.
You learn why you never wear your shoes in the house.
You learn that this is what your morning commute looks like.

You no longer look at families on motor scooters and think "That looks dangerous."

Adaption means....

that you accept that milk comes in boxes and can be stored in your cupboards.

You accept that yogurt comes in bags and that you drink it.

You accept that this kind of parking will not be ticketed and that it is, in fact, fairly par for the course.

You know that these girls holding hand are just good friends.  Same with boys.

You know that it is not going to rain, even though they are carrying umbrellas.

You understand that traditional religion is alive and well in China.

You know that you have never worked as hard as this man.

You are thrilled because you can read this!

You come to expect the unexpected while on bike rides.

You know that there are some people here with unbelievable difficult lives.  But you also learn that some are professional beggars, stealing children to do their dirty work.  You learn to say no to those people.

You learn that any service can be gotten anywhere.

You know that this sign is not as schizophrenic as it appears.

You learn to expect unexpected beauty.

Adaption means thinking critically about culture-both your own and your new culture.  It means seeing the beauty and flaws in both- signs of the fall and signs of redemption.  It is exhausting work but so very much worth it.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the pictures. They brought back a lot of great memories...and some of these pictures could have been taken in Turkey. Just change the faces!

Jeff Schultz said...

Thanks for sharing the photos and insights.

"Adaption means thinking critically about culture - both your own and your new culture. It means seeing the beauty and flaws in both - signs of the fall and signs of redemption. It is exhausting work but so very much worth it."

Yes! All of us need to work on this - neither idolizing nor hating our culture and history.

bevLY said...

LOVE this post, sandy. we miss you guys and think of you often!

Patricia said...

You have just provided an illustration for "incarnation". Thank you!!