Monday, April 22, 2013

It's not OK

I went to breakfast with a few guys, most of whom I did not know.  I met one guy from the UK who is a teacher.  He was explaining to me about gesters we all make with our hands.  While explaining this, a South African man across from us is talking and his hands are gestering all over the place.  Eventually the SAfrican man puts his hands down to listen.  UK Charles, teaches adults locally and begins explaining that the gester for OK is rude.  Basically, it's calling someone an asshole.  OK, I'm intrigued now so I'm actually paying attention.  The, talk to the hand, gester is "crap" in your face.
To gester someone to come to you or, come here...not OK.
My wife, Jamie, uses the thumbs up gester a lot at school.  I believe I gave some Emirate kid the thumbs up yesterday after throwing his ball back.  Thumbs up?  Not OK.  So, I threw the ball back and gestered for him to shove it up his...
I laughed knowing Jamie does this everyday with her students.  She constantly tells me to stop using gesters while I drive; all kinds, not just the universal sign of ill will (finger).  Charles tells me a friend of his was arrested recently for waving off a guy in public. So I am pretty much resolved to stick with using my horn now.  No more gesters.
It worthy of death to convert a Muslim to Christianity.  It is wothy of lashings and jail for a Christian to have religious conversation with a Muslim.  Which brings me to Abdulcarter.  He had his family of  four including his wife covered head-to-toe at the pool.  Muslim women will not permitted to swim in front of other men.  They watch, in 100 degree weather.  Jamie noticed them praying when the prayer sounded throughout the city from all the mosque.  Abudulcarter swims up to me and asked the dreaded question I did not feel comfortable answering in this country...what do you do?  "Homeschool dad."  What did you do back home?  "Oh, well, a minister." Like a minister of defense?  "No, pastor, in a church."  I've never sounded so bummed about what I did.  Oh, he says, you are religious?  Jail, lashings, deportation, all these things rushing through my mind but I jump right in...you know me.  "I don't call it religious, just trying hard to be a follower of Jesus."  Crap did I just say that?  Ultimately, we had an interesting conversation.  I learned a bit about Syria, his family there, and the war. But honestly, I have never been so nervous in a conversation!  He wanted to know where my place of worship was etc...so many predjuce thoughts running though my head!  Then I did something not OK, I introduced him to Jamie.  Haha, well culturally that is not proper.  Nor can i ask about his wife.  Jamie knew this better than me and did not make eye contact as she was taught.  That's when I realized; silly me still learning.  But overall, I'm looking forward to meeting him again.  I loved watching my daughter play peacefully with my Syrian friends daughter.  Who knows where this leads. - jeff

1 comment:

  1. You are both well equipped to do this. Proud to call you friends.