Observations from a Foreigner

Yet another post from me with woes of lost luggage, misunderstandings and a country I think I might fall in love with. 

It is day 5 now with no suitcase.  None of my own clothes.  No hair products.  No undergarments.  No travel journal.  No devotional.  No running shoes.  No work-out clothes.  None of this in a foreign land where English speakers are few and far between.  No small comforts from my home land.  Dramatic enough for you, shall I continue?  I really should stop.  Really.

Yet another observation made by this outsider. And this for some reason really throws me for a loop.  When you are ordering at a restaurant there is no lingering over the menu.  When the waiter approaches the table you must be ready with drink, appetizer and main course order.  Dessert is the only exception.  Although if you sit back from your plate for even a moment it is gone.  And if you did not become a member of the "clean plate club" at a meal you are asked if the food was to your liking or if something was wrong. 

Not to mention the lack of personal space and manners.  Don't misunderstand.  The people here are beautiful. Generous and loving.  There is no lack of P.D.A.(public display of affection) around these parts.  Which actually is refreshing.  They love children.  Their laughter instantly brings smiles to faces.  Even when they are running circles in a restaurant and driving their toy cars all over the guests' seats.  No one seems to mind.  I so appreciate that.  I am soaking this in.  Learning a new culture and finding new reasons everyday to learn the language.  Acclamation is important. 
 
I so love people, in fact fascinated by them.  Enthralled with our differences, the similarities and all the life in between that makes us who we are.  For me that may be the most challenging aspect of being here.  When I am in a new place I want to hear people's stories.  Know about their families.  Where they live, who they are, make a connection with them, laugh with them.  I have not been able to do that here.  Well, with the exception of a waiter at a cafe where we watched the Man Utd. game on Saturday.  We spoke football and no not the American sport. That was fun. 

I will not give up.  Husband Jared and I have braved Turkish shopping malls, wild taxi rides and even the Kipa together all in an effort to enjoy the journey.  Kipa is the local hyper market out here.  To clarify, the Hyper market is on the same scale as a Super Target.  Except not.  It was unnerving to walk into this store where I could not understand the labels or even ask for help.  Jared and I searched the aisles for all the girly things I would need since my toiletries were M.I.A.  Not only did I buy sampuan and kremi but also undergarments, in a grocery store.  It totally went against my senses.  I survived.  And when I feel like crying about it I grab a healthy dose of perspective and smile.  Or at least try.

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