Monday, March 29, 2010

Flowers Steal Oxygen!

I nearly made a bus crash a few days ago. How was I supposed to know that using a cell phone on a bus would make the brakes fail? Luckily, the bus driver was savvier than Sandra Bullock in Speed (or maybe the brakes didn’t really fail) but we made it out just fine. I am also sorry to say that I may have inadvertently caused several businesses to go under while I have been here. I am a pretty good whistler. I like to whistle in public to regale those around me with my whistling prowess. Apparently whistling in public makes people lose money in Central Asia. I apologize for being so inconsiderate.
Here are a few other things to know if you ever visit Central Asia. Knowing these things may help you avoid the chaos that I have rained down on the people since I have been here. Knowledge is power:

Open windows cause illnesses.
If your blanket comes off of you in your sleep you will get kidney stones.
Flowers are not allowed in hospital rooms because they steal the patient’s oxygen.
If you see bread on the ground, you must pick it up and put it on a table.
Air conditioners come with warning stickers that tell people not to lie under them, because they also cause illnesses.
If you compliment something, evil will get jealous and try to destroy it.
Pregnant women cannot use the internet or cell phones.
A woman cannot sit on the ground. She will become infertile because her ovaries will freeze. (This is solved by simply putting paper down and sitting on it.)

Here are some more knowledge bombs that I will lob your way:
Peach, sick or seek, and um are all (very) bad words in Turkish.

Please learn from my mistakes.

Thankfully, we are not plagued by these hardships in America, but before we start getting all ‘hoity-toity’ about how educated we are…
Do you know who the president of Turkey is? All of my Turkish friends know who the U.S president is. Do you know who the current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is? My Turkish friends do. Many of my Turkish friends have been to parts of the U.S. that I have never been to.
One of my Turkish friends said that an American college student he met in Holland did not know that Washington D.C. was the capitol of the United States. He also said that most Americans believe him when he tells them that there are no cars in Turkey and that everyone rides camels. (I saw a Ferrari in my neighborhood here a few weeks ago.) It is a bit embarrassing talking with people overseas and finding out how little we Americans know about the rest of the world. (Myself included.)

I met a Turkish guy the other day that believed that all Texans carry six-shooters and ride horses everywhere. He told me that Texas must be a “very bad-a” place. Messing with people is cross-cultural.


  1. My guess is that your bus driver saw House boat and almost crashed because of it's beautiful. You and I should holding Cross Cultural Classes in "Messing with people 101". With the follow up course, "The Lies(like eyes) of Texas are upon you."--Kasey

  2. I might get in trouble with the "um" factor in play. I think I could hold off my whistling, but if humming does the same then Central Asia would go broke. Sounds like kind of a bummer to be a pregnant woman there, but I guess I should carry around some paper to sit on so I can be one some day... Thanks for these tidbits! :D

  3. No way, I knew about sitting on cement, and laying under an air conditioner, but I totally didn't know I couldn't get on the internet! Oops. Some of these are new for me (still hilarious), and we have our own:

    pregnant women cannot dance,

    if you go outside with wet hair you will become very ill,

    coughing in someone's face doesn't cause a cold-not wearing a hat when its 60 degrees will,

    (you get the idea). Anyways, while these things crack me up sometimes I have to agree that my CA friends know a LOT about the US and some even speak decent English. I am struggling to learn their language and just 2 years ago had no idea where the CA country I currently live in was located in the world. You're wise to keep perspective. Great post, Chris! I will try and remind our family not to send flowers when the baby comes :)

  4. Excellent! Its great to know that siting on the ground causes infertility in other parts of the world here also. The breeze won't make you sick here, it just kills you

  5. So I guess I'm a bad friend and just found out about this blog. I laughed so hard reading your posts that my wife thought I was losing it for awhile. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of these posts. Since I read your predicament about the Lord's necture, I firmly commit myself to not have another one until your thirst has been quenched.