Many people ask us what the biggest difference is between life in Asia and life in America. I am not sure what I would call the biggest difference, but many small things add up to a very different life here in Asia. Here are just a few:
One of the best things about Asia is the abundance of fruit. Just the other day we were eating big mangoes, and the juice was literally dripping from my chin and hands. There is another very large fruit here, about the size of two watermelons, that tastes like bubble gum.
Asia also has fruit that are mixed blessings. Many hotels here forbid durians and mangosteens in their rooms. Durian has a very pungent smell that lingers in the air, and mangosteen (my all-time favorite fruit) leaves a permanent yellowish stain on almost anything it touches.
The outdoor markets in Asia are something you can’t fully understand until you experience them. Little stalls pack the area, and tarps on the ground are spread with goods to sell. Fruits, vegetables, spices, sweating people and the smell of fly-covered animals (live or skinned butchered and rotting in the sun). It makes us long for Wal-Mart!
It seems Asia doesn’t have as many laws and regulations as America does. How they drive is a guessing game for me at times. We often find ourselves playing chicken with motorcycles or ox-drawn carts on one-way streets (we are going the correct way). Police checkpoints seem to be a moneymaking scheme, and we have learned a few tricks to get out of paying, like taking out our camera to photograph the officer. This usually gets us sent along quickly!
Asian zoos seem odd to us. Monkeys and water monitors up to five feet long roam free, and peacocks are caged. The enclosures of large animals like rhinos, hippos and giraffes let you get very close to them and even touch them. For about a dollar, I got to hold and cuddle a tiger cub. What a wonderful experience that was!
Though Asia and America often seem like separate worlds, one common thread runs through both—a deep desire for something better. This is why we live among the people of Asia. We want to introduce them to Jesus Christ, the only One who offers them something beyond this existence.
Thank you for joining with us to reach the unreached of the world by introducing people where you live to Jesus, too!