Monday, July 5
David Goes to the Dentist
Well, we're back. And things couldn't be weirder.
Evidently culture shock is a two-way street. We've been in America for a week now and every day we have encountered things that make us feel like we got stuck somewhere between the Twilight Zone and the Bermuda Triangle. I thought I'd share some of those vertigo moments.
1. When we first got home, Kris' mom made me a sandwich. That sandwich had more meat on it than I would've eaten in a full week in China. She asked if I wanted milk to drink. I said, "Yes, thank you. Just a small glass." When I saw my glass of milk on the table a moment later, it was huge. I wasn't sure I could lift it to my mouth. I thought Debbie had surely given me her biggest glass, but I looked in the cabinet later and saw that she had indeed given me the small glass. It only seemed enormous because all of our vessels in China resembles glass thimbles.
2. When Kris thought of home, she thought of Annie. When I thought of home, I thought about food. Buffalo Wild Wings, Las Palmas, Lasagna, Fajitas, etc. The irony is that for the first five days or so back in the States, I couldn't eat a thing! My stomach was in knots all day every day and when my fleeting appetite appeared, I was only able to eat a small child's portion.
3. After my tumtum healed, we made it to Rosa's, a very fine Mexican restaurant in North Richland Hills. After forking out 20 bucks (140 yuan?!) for two dinners, I set down my fajita nachos on the table and went to the fixins counter for salsa and pico. I was amazed when I saw a huge vat of sour cream and an unlimited supply of individual Ranch dressing packets. My immediate instinct was to fill my pockets with Ranch dressing. In China, this was gold! Here, you just ask and they'll pour it directly in your pie hole.
4. Free refills on milk at IHOP.
5. Our worship in Hangzhou involved a very intimate number of eight to ten people who knew each other very well. This was not the case at Legacy church this morning. In a room of 800+, I felt like one of those chickens in a coop struggling to get the corn on the conveyor belt. This church culture is going to take some getting used to.
The moral of the story is that God did just what I asked him to do while we were in China. He changed me. Though there are friends and family members who will expect me to be the same person I was ten months ago, I am not that guy. Time has changed me, China and its people have changed me, God has changed me. I'll never see the world the same way again. I praise God for that.