Having lived more than half of my adult life in Asia, I can call myself at least half Asian. It is so natural to walk around the street speaking Thai to friends that I sometimes forget I’m not Asian. Why do I love my Asian home? Here are the top five reasons:
1. I’ve been able to order food from the same sweet man and lady for more than twenty years. When we arrived, we learned how to ask for fried rice, fried noodles, and all of our favorite dishes. In those days, we butchered the language, but this family just pretended that they understood us and made something they knew we would enjoy. Over the years, we’ve been to weddings and to funerals with these same cooks that have become such a part of our daily lives. Here in Thailand, our home extends far outside of the house!
2. Relationships are most important here. Do you talk to your tollway man? Well, here in Asia, we do. I see the same man about four out of five days a week when I drive to school. His name is Khun Suwat. Do you know your tollway man in your country? I bet you don’t, but that is just how we live here. Years ago, one of the grandmothers adopted us into her family. From that time onward, we’ve been to her birthday celebrations and lots of family events. Recently, our Thai “adopted son” got married. He was ten years old when we arrived and we just developed a close relationship over the years. One dear sister has become a part of the family. Even if we are not at home, she knows she can come over and make herself welcome. She has encouraged our children by putting them in special classes to help them learn different things and has really helped us understand our role here.
3. Our customs have become very Asian. We would not think of taking a gift from someone without first lifting our hands together in a “thank-you” wai. Strange as it may seem, we have a difficult time, even in the States, going into another house with our shoes on. You will see our shoes piled up outside the door wherever we visit. It is just our custom.
4. We can no longer have an all English conversation as a family. In the middle of a conversation in English, we apparently throw in Thai words, according to our own families. Sometimes we start explaining something, and we have a brain freeze. The English word won’t come out because the Thai word just makes more sense to us.
5. Our hearts are planted here in Asia. If we tried to tear ourselves away, I guess we could do it. Whenever we leave Asia, we start out with a big smile, but if we stay too long, we become anxious. The truth is, we have grown to love this place.
For today’s creative activity, list the five reasons why you love your home. This is an awesome activity for personal reflection. Maybe you’ll find that your home is somewhere you were not expecting. Go ahead and join the fun. Leave a comment for everyone!
“God is at home; it’s we who have gone out for a walk.” Meister Eckhart