Monday, September 17, 2012

Friendly Playgrounds, Fear, and Isolation

We are back in Hungary for a month already and I realized that I didn’t get a chance to update the blog.  I was thinking what to write about to summarize our summer. We were blessed and amazed by God’s provision for us. We had great time but I was eager to come home and to get busy with ministry. So I decided to write just couple of things that I find very different between life here in Hungary and life in US.
Here are my observation.

1. How different life looks for retired people in US. You have the option of retirement homes, nursing homes which are not too common here. In Eastern Europe you need to depend on someone from your own family to care for you even if you don’t want to be a burden- you don’t have any other options.
2. Shopping is so easy in the US. Anything you want to cook you can do it any time. You don’t need to search a couple of stores to find that missing ingredient from your shopping list or to change your plan because they are out of that specific food you need.
3. We filled our suitcases with kids clothes of good quality and cheap prices in the US. I love that I can return something if they don’t fit. (we don’t have that luxury in Europe)
4. I enjoyed the beauty of people's gardens with flowers and nice lawns in America. On some streets I felt like I was walking through a botanical garden.
5.  It was nice  to be able to understand 100% of what people were saying in the US.
6.  Store clerks bothered me in the US. I like to go and look around, compare prices, and I couldn’t step in a store without someone coming and asking me if he/she can help me. I would say no but if I lingered too long by a shelf another clerk would come and try to help me.
7.  There are too many options!  Why do you need 15 types of corn tortillas? It was time consuming for me to decide which one is the best.
8. I find very sad that the American kids are growing up with a fear of strangers. At Walmart the first thing you see as you enter the store is a wall of missing children. At playgrounds the kids can’t run and play without close supervision. If a child came and I said something to him the parent was right there to see what I am talking about with his child.  This affects how children play, they don't share their toys with kids they don’t know. 
 I love the playgrounds here in Hungary. It is a friendly community where you meet people and share life. You drop your toys in the sand box and you let others use them and you can play with others kids’ toys. If you don’t have any sand toys…no problem, your child still can play. When it is time to leave, mom and kid pick his own toys from the sand. Kids are talking with you, asking your name, where are you from, how that you don’t speak Hungarian so well, how come your kids speak another language. Some of them will come and try their English words with you. Parents don't hover over their children so much and take their child’s side when they quarrel.  

It is time to take the kids to the playground now..