#9: The One About My Diamond Shoes

#9: The One About My Diamond Shoes

Raise your hand if you’ve never lived overseas.

OK, cool – you’re the ones I’m talking to.

I’ve had the opportunity to live overseas for two stretches in my life. The first time, I lived in Romania for six months in 1996 (so, five years post-communist…good times). The second time was for five years, beginning in 2002, in the Czech Republic and Hungary. I worked with missionaries in the world of education and had a grand time.

In my time living abroad, I also had to travel quite a bit. When you travel by plane or train, you tend to come in and out of major cities, right? So sometimes my funny life stories start like this: “We were coming up from the subway in Paris when…”

Right HERE is where I’d like to stop and talk to you.

To the average American (and I am proudly one, though not maybe in this one area), the person who starts a story with, “We were coming up from the subway in Paris…” is ostentatious. Pretentious. Rich. A total show-off. Don’t lie – I can see it in your eyes.

Please please, I beg you, suspend your judgment for just a tiny moment to find out more. Please let me tell you my story without feeling self-conscious so that I can tell you about a big chunk of my life (the funniest chunk BY FAR).

Because, most of the time, what I’m NOT going to say is, “We were coming up from the subway in Paris when my beret flew off and I had to chase it down the Champs-Élysées
in my diamond shoes while dozens of handsome Frenchmen ran after me, trying to help…”

Instead, I’m probably just gonna complain about the time I had to heft my suitcase, my computer bag full of testing materials, and my friend’s suitcase (who wasn’t feeling well) up the ridiculous, non-elevator-having subway station steps only to find that we were in the wrong place.

I was just joining in the stories about back pain and “we’re really not that old, are we?!” I promise for reals that I’m not showing off.

I’m at a conference right now with folks who travel internationally a LOT. Around their fellow countrymen back home, they may seem a bit quiet, mousy even. We don’t have glamorous or high-paying jobs, so you’d never know how many airports we came through to get home.

But when we get together – oh my, the laughter. You can ask Cynthia about the time she told the baker in Belgium that we put contraceptives in our bread here in America. Or let Mike tell you about how, in Croatian, you really should learn the different words for chicken breasts and, well – breasts – or you might get more than you bargained for for dinner. Or I might just tell you about how the noise I complained about in a Paris hotel was coming from my own bag. “Uh, Meez Walk-aire, zee noize eez coming from your bag” (electric toothbrush).

If you promise not to judge, I’ll share myself with you and we’ll have a grand time.

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