I had a donut last week. Thus began my downfall. That’s a bit dramatic, but that donut sparked something. If you know me, you would know I don’t get homesick, but I do have fond memories of people and places. I miss the small things – commutes and/or lunch dates with Ada, food ‘ventures with Jenn, hiking with Adam and Hailin – as well as the big things – roadtrips, exploring national parks, and cross-country visits. I miss the diversity of food, of people, of neighborhoods. It’s not that I didn’t miss my life back in NYC in the last few months, but that donut triggered something deep in my soul that I can’t pinpoint.
Perhaps my honeymoon phase is over. I didn’t even realize I was on the culture shock roller coaster we talked about at training since I didn’t feel as though I entered a new culture. In fact, I was a little disappointed to be placed in Hong Kong. I’m super stoked to be here and serving with migrant workers, but I wanted to be [culturally] challenged. I wanted to be placed in another country where I didn’t know the language, eat the food, understand the culture, or look like a local. Instead, I’m placed in a city that reminds me of Chinatown, has food I’m familiar with, and speaks my mother tongue. At first, I thought, “Augh, I’m not riding the struggle bus. I’m not even on a bus; I’m chilling in the back of a comfy car with the aircon on.”
At first, I was jealous of my co-fellows, placed in countries outside their comfort zones. I wanted that journey for myself (I know, I’m nuts), but it’s not my time to ride that cultural struggle bus. Instead, I ride another struggle bus – to slowly learn what it means to be an Asian American missionary in Asia while hearing about the struggles back in my passportland; to pray and trust God with the issues here in Hong Kong as well as abroad in the United States; and to love where I am placed because God’s plans are better than mine. And it’s not easy. It’s never easy to unlearn decades of ideologies and relearn them, but I trust God. So far, it’s been pretty awesome. (: