It all started when my sister discovered Facebook. We had been on Facebook for a while, since it is a great way to keep up with our youth group and what's up in their world. However, when Amb "became a friend," our Facebook world changed. All of a sudden, she's giving me flair, we are having a daily search for a "friendly spy" (it's a private joke!) and we are getting in touch with long lost friends. It is good to go down memory lane every once in a while, after all those moments are what made us who we are today, the good, bad and even the ugly...
Since I had found some of my old buddies, I thought it would be fun to post old pictures on Facebook. What a hoot! Maybe some things should be left in the past!!! While I was going through my old pictures of "once upon a time," I started thinking about the good old days and all the little moments that I've kept locked away. My parents were missionaries. I went to high school in Bangkok, Thailand. I've traveled the world. I've met all kinds of people. Sometimes I feel like I dreamed it all.
When I think about my childhood, certain "snapshot" memories come to me. Excuse me while I take another walk down memory lane...
1. The smells... I can still smell the Asian smells. In Bangladesh and India, there was that intense body odor smell, (try taking a boys gym bag and the "pleasant" odor it gives off, times a billion...) that comes from billions of sweaty bodies, living on the streets in poor conditions. Add the extreme heat of the day and it's memorable! I remember getting off the plane for the first time and literally being engulfed in heat! Not everywhere you went, did it smell horrible or maybe I just got use to it... but I certainly can remember that "first impression" smell.
Thailand, was not as bad, it depended more on what part of the country you were in. When I think of walking down the street in Bangkok, I think food. All the street vendors, cooking on the street... The sometimes weird, sometimes delicious aromas would fill the air.
2. The rain... When it rained, it poured! For days!!! Flooding was a way of life. I remember going to class and it starting to sprinkle and coming out and the parking lot would be flooded! Walking down the street in knee deep water, was nothing!
3. A soda...You haven't had a coke until you have drank it out of a plastic bag tied with a rubber band!
4. The International School. Wow, if only the politics of the world could be so simple. I went to school with all races and nationalities and never thought a thing about it. No one thought they were better than anyone else... we were all just trying to survive school and have a little fun while doing so!
5. I was Fearless! Of course I didn't know it at the time. However, I went all over the city of Bangkok, by myself or with friends and never worried! A FOREIGN city!!! What were my parents thinking? I can't let my kids play in the yard, without checking on them every five minutes!!!
6. The beach! I may not be a friend now, with the heat and the sun (I have very fair skin) but once upon a time I LOVED IT! The beach represented vacation, family and friends!
7. The military. My first real encounters with soldiers, when I truly realized they existed, was when I was in High school. The Navy and Marine ships would come to town, while I was in Thailand and my girlfriends and I would have so much fun watching them. In a teenager's mind, there was nothing better than a cute guy in uniform to dream about!
8. Traveling... Sometimes my journeys would take me to different countries, both in Asia and Europe and sometimes a "journey" was to a village. I've been on planes, boats, ferries, buses, trains, rickshaws, taxis, etc... I've ate dinner at fancy motels and had lunch in a little hut, while sitting on the floor, eating with my hand. I've walked across bridges that crossed eight lanes of traffic and crossed bridges consisting of two pieces of wood. I've seen water that was as clear and as blue as the sky and drinking water that was MUD.
9. The food. I can still smell it. I've never had an exotic palatewhen it came to foods... let me just say, RICE was my best friend! However, I can still smell and taste the many different foods that crossed my plate!
10. The example. Yes, I had some rebellion in me, just like many teenagers. There were days that I hated what my mom and dad did for a living... and then there were days that I felt blessed. I look back now, as an adult, in awe of the example set by my parents and other missionaries I met along the way. They really did "drop" everything and follow Christ. As a mom and wife, in my comfortable house, driving my car, I have to stop and say "thank you" to my Lord, for the lives I was able to watch first hand as they tried their best to serve God.
And there are many more little memories locked away... maybe saved for another day and another blog. :)