Our Bulldog Lilly doesn't have a whole lot to say about most things in life. She sleeps, drink, eats, sleeps, plays with the kids, sleeps again, makes a lot of gross noises. But, today, she had something to say about that NY Times Article
that is out there circulating. See, this Article has seemed to drum up a little contraversy in some areas. Depending on the way that you read the article, one could summise that Americans are downright snooty tooty people when we travel abroad.
So, Lilly and I sat down and talked about this. Through the snorts and the occassional gaseous indiscretions (which bulldogs are notorious for), Lil let me know that she was not going to stand for being thought of as a bratty traveller. She doesn't care about luxury, she just needs a place to sleep. When she is outside, she checks out everything, smells the air, checks out all the flowers, I even think she has a smile on her face. When she is in the car and the windows are rolled down...her ears are flopping in the wind and the drool is down the side of the car. Life couldn't get any better for her.
So, if she can be like that, why can't we??? Sure, Russia has different living conditions that we do. Some may be surprised at how they live. As one woman on a board in the US that I read mentioned that she was in total culture shock when she moved from the South to the North because the North had different styles of homes, styles of living, and smiling and waving at your neighbors could be a cause for getting you slapped around and thrown in jail. (just kidding...I have lived in NY...it isn't quite like that..but, smiling does get you some crazy looks as it does in Russia).
So, where am I going in all of this rambling? Expectations. If you are planning on travelling to Russia, or around the world or anywhere for that matter and you have your mind made up that you want to keep everything the way that you want it.... Well, your trip may be disappointing.
Sure, when you land in Moscow...there are more cars there than you have probably seen in your life (except for Toyko according to my husband) and sure, it might look grey at times. Hey...there may be some smog. Yep, people might not be smiling. Uh-huh, the hotels and apartments may be smaller than what you are used to. Oh yea, if you are not used to smoke coming out of your ears from second hand smoking....that is a little different. If you are over 5'5...potentially the beds may be smaller than you. Ok...so, the snow is a little gray and yucky and times. BUT,
IF you go into it with the expectations that Lilly does with each day... and that is to check out everything, smell all the flowers, try all the different foods, try to meet different people, try to learn the language. Sleep in the cramped quarters if that is what it takes. Put your head outside the window and slobber a little with your ears flapping in the wind. (Ok...forget the slobbering..that is too gross). But, in the scheme of things....it is a small time in your life that you get to experience something amazing. Not only are you adopting a child from their country. Which we need to honor and respect no matter how many are pissed about the process..... I have met many wonderful people there and I have soaked up the culture. Heck, do I think that everything they do is right....no. But, that isn't the point. The point isn't to judge. The point is to experience.
Life is what we make of it. If we want to be make a trip miserable and complain...that is your choice. But, we are only on this planet for a finite period of time and if we are truly to experience life.....we need to experience it all....with our whole minds, our whole bodies and spirits present and in the moment and grateful to God that He gave us this opportunity to see how other people live. Then, we get to come back home and sleep in our comfy bed and we are better people for taking a piece of the world back with us in our memories. And sometimes, the people that we have met and the places we have seen could possibly have a magnificent impact on your life, if you just let it.
Lilly wanted me to say thanks for listening....she is snoring right now. But...thanks for listening...