Sunday, May 24, 2009

it's just different

We went downtown last night to have a little goodbye dinner for one of the teachers who is leaveing and a part of our mission. I enjoy getting together with our UWM "family" and hanging out, but saying goodbye is never fun.

We asked Paula some questions about her time here, just some general ones and a few more thought provoking ones. I always like hearing what people's favorite and least favorite things about Hungary are, as well as what things they are most looking forward to when the move back. Usually the latter is in regards to food and language and of course family. :) I understand that.

So I got to thinking about my favorite and least favorite things about Hungary. And I guess like most of my responses to these sorts of questions, my answer would be, "It depends." Some days the things that just bug me to death are the very same things that later I endear about the country.

Take for instance the driving/road situation. Yesterday I drove all over the place to take kids where they needed to be, and several times I thought I couldn't possibly be driving down the road correctly, or let alone that it was actually a road. Then you meet up with another car going the opposite direction when the road is BARELY wide enough to fit one little European car, much less two. Ah, yesterday that was bugging me but other days I find it so quaint.

I think this summer my first reaction to everything will be, "It's huge!" Almost everything in the US is bigger, and I so often find myself fighting the mentality that things should be bigger and better. As we look for a new place to live, I have to keep asking if it is my American mentality that thinks I should have more space or do we really need more space. As Audrey looks for a new flat, we have realized that having an oven is not the expectation. Things that are normal there are not necessarily normal here. And the first thing anyone will tell you when you go to a new place is..."It's not wrong, it's just different."

Different is good. Different is challenging. Different can drive you mad or make you grateful. I don't feel that I have to continually chant that mantra, but I do have to remind myself of it sometimes. :)


Audrey said...

Good thoughts! Just say "no" to negative attribution. :)

Julie said...

I disagree with that statement the longer I live here, some things are just wrong, no matter what country you live in! Seriously, this has been my conclusion the past few years. I digress

missed seeing you at the brunch on Sat, and I was going to share a box of thin mints with you, would you like some ?!?!?!?