age | e

in front of you in line alphabetically since 2006

Monday, July 23, 2007

the five best things about america

a list by Joel after two weeks back in his homeland

1. Cheez-its. Including the spelling.

2. Everything---no, everything, including freeways with traffic, new cell phones with complicated alarm clocks and the DMV---yes---is so convenient. I am thankful.

3. Near universal air conditioning. No joke: the air conditioner in the room where we're staying at ESI training has a setting for "Super Cool." It is.

4. Public friendliness. I got into a conversation in an airport line with a woman from Albuquerque about the creative ways Europeans pronounce that name. Yes, Europeans have heard of Albuquerque, and no, they wouldn't have shared this with me in an airport line.

5. Worshipping God by singing songs about how good and amazing he is---and doing this in English with other people who speak English and love God in the same way. Please don't take this for granted. It is one of God's very good gifts.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

reverse culture shock, part i

It's hard to be in a crowd of people speaking English. On one hand, being in a noisy crowd, I'm used to not listening---after all, I don't speak all that much Czech and wouldn't understand much anyway. We tone it out and the noise disappears. On the other hand, whenever we were out walking in Prague and we heard people speaking English, our ears would perk up and it was all we could do not to hone in on every word.

Well, now we're back in California and most people are speaking English most of the time everywhere we go. We haven't been used to hearing English as "background noise" for a long time and we catch ourselves inadvertantly eavesdropping on just about everybody.

So if you find that we strangely know your evening plans, your cousin's cell phone number or that you think that guy over there looks funny in that shirt, don't take it personally. We're adjusting.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

back in the ussr (or a, rather)

We are tired. We are grungy. We smell of disinfectant and recycled air. We are jet-lagged. We are a bit wigged out.

But we made it. Talk to us soon. But now we must sleep.