Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wednesday Night Stories: One Day Adoption

In the name of creating some sort of regularity on here and out of the realization I've experienced a whole lot in my limited life so far (I've hit four of the continents already), I'm launching a new concept. Each Wednesday night (loose definition of "night") I'll be posting a story about some profound or more likely ridiculous experience from my life. Hopefully, it will help me record some memories before they fade while also entertaining you. Enjoy.

In the summer of 2009, I was wrapping up my year overseas on a trip to a rather large Middle Eastern country with a group of East Asian brothers and sisters sharing the Gospel there. No matter what happens the rest of my life, that trip will go down as one of the greatest experiences I've ever had.

So on our last day there, we were back in the capital with a morning to fill before our flight left late that afternoon. So we took to wandering around the historical areas of the city (a city that could argue it has more history than any other world city).

In this area most of the shops doubled as small restaurants and I was getting thirsty after having just eaten lunch. I attempted to order a Coke from a shop owner and upon asking him how much it cost, his response was, "Sit down and talk with me, we'll see about the price."

This impromtu invitation didn't really catch me by surprise as I'd already spent two weeks in the country and this nation's people are the warmest, kindest, friendliest, most-inviting people you could ever hope to meet.

So, I sat down at the table and he began quizzing me, "Where are you from? . . . Have some watermelon. What part of the country? . . . Have some fish. How long have you been here? . . . Have some salad. Keep eating, you need to grow, you're still young. Where have you visited? . . . You need more bread."

Now, I had just eaten lunch 20 minutes before, so I really wasn't interested in a 2nd lunch but it would have been rude culturally to turn down anything he offered me, so I tried to eat plenty of small bites and take very small portions of seconds.

The owner was very pleased that I was an American. He actually had lived in Philadelphia for over a decade and held dual citizenship but hadn't been to the US for many years, so he asked me for all kinds of updates. One of his employees was also at the lunch, but had nowhere near the English skills of his boss, resulting in a lot of nodding and smiling (a routine I was personally very familiar with after spending a year living in a country where my language skills were very limited).

After about 45 minutes (and several forced helpings of watermelon), the owner declared, "Alright, you will be my son. On one condition, you must come and eat lunch with me every day until you leave the city."

At this point I had to deliver the news that my flight was leaving in 3 hours, which though a little disappointed, he accepted.

I never did ask about the price of the Coke, but my guess is an offer of sonship included a free Coke.


John said...

THAT is awesome.

Matthew said...

I didn't even know that story. That's sweet