Ways to Know That You or Your Parents are Missionaries
- You can't answer the question, "Where are you from?"
- The vast majority of your clothes are hand-me-downs.
- You speak two languages but can't spell either.
- You embarrass yourself by asking what swear words mean.
- You read National Geographic and recognize someone.
- You don't know how to play Pac-Man.
- You have a time zone map next to your telephone.
- You would rather eat seaweed than cafeteria food.
- You consider a city 500 km away to be 'very close'.
- You watch nature documentaries and think about how good that animal
would taste if it were fried.
- You can cut grass with a machete but can't start a lawn mower.
- You speak with authority on the subject of airline travel.
- You read the international section before the comics.
- Strangers say they can remember you when you were 'this tall'.
- You have friends from or in 29 different countries.
- You do your devotions in another language.
- You sort your friends by continent.
- You realize that furlough is not a vacation.
- You wince when people mispronounce foreign words.
- You've spoken in dozens of churches but aren't a pastor.
- The majority of your friends don't speak English.
- Someone brings up the name of a team and you get the sport wrong.
- You like everything from Reggae to Japanese rap.
- You never take anything for granted.
- You watch a movie set in a foreign country, and you know what the
nationals are REALLY saying into the camera.
- You know how to pack.
- Fitting 15 or more people into a car seems normal.
- You refer gravel roads to highways.
- You haggle with the checkout clerk for a lower price.
- You get upset when people don't finish their food and feel worse
when they scrape it into the trash.
- You don't think that two hours is a long sermon.
- You never have a special meal on Sunday, since it is your busiest day.
- You don't do well in job interviews because you were taught to be modest.
- You think nothing of straddling white lines to pass between trucks
or buses traveling side by side, because "There was plenty of room,
officer. Honest! At least 15 cm clearance."
- Someone in your passport country has to explain to you that the
double yellow lines mean ONLY oncoming traffic can drive on
that side of the road, even when there ISN'T any oncoming traffic...and
you don't understand why.
- Later that same day, the same poor friend has to go to great lengths
to explain to you why you cannot just hand the policeman a dollar and
drive away when he stops you, and why you are now being driven downtown
in the back of said officer's car over a mere dollar; at which point
your passport country ceases to make any sense to you at all.
- You feel odd being in the ethnic majority.
- You go to the local Korean restaurant just to listen to the conversation.
- You have to have five hot sauces on a Big Mac.
- You really do enjoy Oriental folk music.
- You marvel at the cleanliness of gas station bathrooms.
- Your last memories of your parents' families are twenty years old.
- You think you've died and gone to heaven when you go into a foreign grocery store.
- You have a name in at least two different languages, and it is not the same one.
- You miss the sub-titles when you see the latest movies.
- You feel you need to move after you've lived in the same place for a month.
- Your idea of a good night is a Japanese cartoon and some seaweed and rice.
- You cruise the internet looking for fonts that support your 'native' language's alphabet.
- You think a 'foreign school' conducts classes in English.
- You try to get onto a military base by showing your passport.
- Your carry-on luggage weighs more than you do. (Tawnja Van Reijn)