We Got What We Ordered

MAF restricted access country restaurant menuLife is never boring here. We never go long without some new, and oftentimes, uncomfortable experience. You know the kind that I’m talking about: the you’ll-laugh-about-this-later experiences. The key, however, is to learn how to laugh in the moment knowing you’ll appreciate it even more later. Oh, the great laughs we’ve had!

The most common avenue in which these “unique” experiences come about is through miscommunication (or a flat-out misunderstanding of our second language!).

Let me share a couple…

We had found a great little restaurant that served western foods that we had been missing. One rainy evening, I confidently ordered a hot chocolate and eagerly anticipated sipping happily on its warm chocolate-y goodness. Several minutes later, a bowl was placed before me. Its contents? A lump of a hot, melting chocolate bar and a spoon. It was not a beverage. We laughed because I literally got what I had ordered. HOT chocolate.

There was an event we were attending far from home, and we had to arrange our own lodging. We asked to stay at a place with a hot shower (“mandi air panas”). Perfect, we thought, a nice hot shower for when we arrive at our destination at 3 a.m. After seven hours in the car, and pitch blackness surrounding us, we were ready to get to our “hotel” with the hot shower and then sleep. Suddenly, our driver appeared lost, looking anxiously around in the dark. We looked out the window…no homes, no buildings, nothing but pitch-black jungle. “I can’t find it” was shyly confessed. After some dialogue, we discovered that we were headed to some hot springs in the middle of nowhere! “Mandi air panas” can mean “a hot shower” OR “hot springs.” Who visits hot springs at 3 a.m.? Apparently we do. We got what we had asked for! We laughed…later.

The other day, a group of us were out to eat and we were deciding what to order. One friend asked another, “What are you getting?” My friend’s reply summed up our crazy life here perfectly, “I don’t know what I’m gonna get, but I do know what I’m gonna order.” We laughed.

Well said, my friend. Well said.

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www.maf.org/2014impact.

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