Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Cross-Cultural Mishaps

Cross-Cultural living is never an easy thing. It can be very stressful even years after living in the new culture. There are still some things that I struggle with here. Like take today. Monday is grocery day. Getting groceries in Uganda is nothing like getting them in the States. The store itself is about the size of Aldi's, and there's no Walmart in case I don't find what I need. I come with list in hand hoping for the best, but many times most of what I'm looking for is out of stock. (I have been looking for sour cream for over 2 months now.) Once I've got enough food for the week (it took some time but now I have it down to a science), then I head to the check out. I stand in line behind a woman with 4 items. The cashier looks right at me before she starts scanning those items. Slowly. One. By. One. As the woman in front of me pays, the cashier abruptly puts down the "lane closed" sign and gives me "that look." You know the one I mean. That "I know you've been standing here for 5 minutes while I scanned this lady's 4 items but you need to go to that other line with 7 people in it and wait there." And I have to try my absolute hardest not to return her snooty look with my own look. You know the one I mean. The "If I weren't a missionary and if this weren't security officers around I would hit you so hard" look. (Yes, even missionaries get that look).

So I choose another line and stand there when suddenly I feel something cold on my arm. I'm in the middle of Africa so this seems strange to me, and I turn around and stand, quite literally, face to face with the woman behind me. She's standing so close that someone could mistake us for conjoined twins. So now, quite annoyed I resist the urge to use my hips to push her backward. Instead I take a deep breath and allow her to go in front of me to pay for her juice for which she paid with a large bill when they had no change.

I start putting my items up on the table. It's a table, not one of those fancy belts like grocery stores at home have. So when they can no longer reach what you've put up, you have to push it into their reach. (For the record the table is only an arms length long so they can technically reach it, but they would have to stretch and apparently that's not in their job description). So the cashier (remember it's a different one from the first one), starts scanning my items. Slowly. One. By. One. She uses only one arm while I resist the urge to make a sarcastic comment about God giving her TWO arms. When she finally finishes she doesn't tell me my total. I have to read it from the screen. I give her my money and she starts to count it while I try not to EXPLODE. She counts it one by one, placing every  bill on the table, arranging them so they're all facing the same way. Then after counting them the first time she counts them again one by one, placing every bill on the table. She pauses. She looks at the total on the computer. She pauses again. She types the amount I gave her. She pauses. I start daydreaming about the miracle that is the self-checkout. A distant memory for me. She hits the "ok" button. The cash register opens and she opens every one of the little flippy things where the bills go (is there a technical term for those?). Now, I only gave her 10,000 shilling notes (10,000 shillings equals about $4), so there's no need to open all of them. Then she tries putting them where the 20,000 notes go, realizing that it's not the right place. Meanwhile I am trying not to bang my head against the table while whimpering softly. She finally gets it right and goes to get my change. But wait, she forgot what it was so she has to check the receipt again. She then searches for the right coins, and I again resist the urge not to shout as loud as I can "IT'S 700. GIVE ME A 500 AND A 200!" I resist, she gives me my coins and receipt, and I walk out of the store with my 4 bags of groceries while quoting Barney Stinson. "This is SO going on my blog!"

1 comment:


    Are men predestined? Yes, but predestined for what?

    Those who, believe that Jesus is the Christ, are predestined for salvation.

    Men are not predestined by God "to believe" in order that they may be saved. All men have free-will to believe or to reject Jesus as the Christ.

    Ephesians 1:11-14 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. 13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation---having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory.

    The Ephesians were sealed with the Holy Spirit because they believed; not because they were preselected "to believe" in order to be saved.

    Christians have been predestined for salvation, however, it has not been predetermined who will become Christians.


    Luke 8:11 "Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God.

    Luke 8:12 Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved.

    Did God send the devil to take the word from their heart because He did not preselect them for salvation? Of course not. Neither did God send the devil to deceive Eve, so Adam and Eve would sin against Him.

    Luke 8:13 Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away.

    Does God let some believe for a while; then cause them to fall away because He did not preselect them for salvation? No, He does not.

    Luke 8:14 The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones have have heard , and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity.

    Is it logical that God would have the gospel preached to those He has already selected to burn in hell?

    8:15 But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, hold fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.

    Salvation is achieved by an honest and good heart. God does preselect babies in the womb and transplant a good an honest heart in them, so they might be saved.





    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com