I can understand why people wished me away with "have a good trip", but it didn't quite do justice for what I was about to do. I am not on a trip and the reality has set in, I miss the value of speed and quality service that I was familiar with in the US. The other day I was feeling really upset with Turkish culture. I broke my tooth after I got a little too excited from a big play, hugged a football player, and ran into his shoulder pad. I was filled with a feeling of frustration in the lack of reliability that everyone mentions here. Around here when plans aren't completed, a miscommunication occurs, or the speed of something that should be fast (from a western perspective) is a lot slower; a common phrase that is used among my circle is "welcome to Turkey." I had to go the whole day with a broken tooth and no one really seemed to care. There is also a scary doubt in my mind that if a football player got hurt really bad, he wouldn't get the attention he needs. To top it off, later that day my wife and I were crossing the street and the car that was waiting in the intersection started rolling into the crosswalk while she was standing right in front of it. The driver could've hurt her and I was not happy with that. These things definitely helped the reality set in that I'm that not in the US.
At the same time, I evaluate my surroundings from day to day and I feel like I am at home in a new home. My tooth was able to be fixed the next day and I actually made a new friend in the dentist. People take one look at me and they know I'm a yabancı, yet it seems that they're somewhat mesmerized that I can speak a little Turkish. There are times where I expect to make a 2 minute run to the store and I end up spending 30 minutes or more talking to a Turk who's curious about me. This is actually a plus for me. I can't think extremely fast in Turkish, but it yields a sense of satisfaction to have been able to carry a full on Conversation with a Turk. I think what some of my struggles have come down to is I've taken my focus off of Jesus. My mind immediately goes to Peter when I think about this. I too started to sink the other day.
Some may think its a typical Christian concept, which it is, but it all comes back to Jesus. Its simple but it true. Jesus died so that I could follow God through any circumstance, including breaking my tooth, seeing my wife almost get hit by a car, and not feeling in control of the situation I'm in. There is so much to learn from weak moments such as these. The most tangible feeling I have right now is no matter what I go through and no matter how rotten it feels, God will work it out. The reality that I have to accept is no matter where I am on Earth, my home is in Heaven. That's my actually HOME - everywhere I go while I'm alive is foreign territory. And on that note I will collect my thoughts and continue in a later post.