Culture. Shock.

Most of the time when I read something about culture or I attempt the write something about culture, I know almost nothing. If I understand a particular man correctly, culture is that that is true, good and beautiful about a people.

But most of the time we talk about things like style, salaries, traditions, accepted practices; and we call this culture.

Since I don’t know what else to call it, I have to call it culture, at least in a very general sense. Missionaries tend to experience culture shock. And then when they return to their home/citizen country they experience reverse culture shock.

I experience culture shock at least on a weekly basis. Even after 6 years living here.

We took Sienna to one of those indoor play places. You know, the ones that have all the germs possible for your kid to come in contact with? Yep. That one. There is a little cafe area for the parents/guardians to have a snack or get a drink.

I’ve seen this before, but it still takes me off guard, even for a moment.

As I peruse the menu wondering if I should order something or just stick with my water bottle, I see that corner of the menu. And while I’ve seen it before, I was in the perfect position to whip out my camera and take a picture.

A run down of the menu goes like this. One the left are the different kinds of coffee you might be inclined to order. (Definitely not your Starbuck’s menu.) Upper right are the all the cold drinks ranging from water to Coke.

It’s the lower right corner that always makes me pause for a moment. I asked myself, Why? Why does it surprize me that there are alcoholic drinks available at a place where you bring your kids to play?

My answer always goes back to where I grew up. No, not the state, the country. At one point alcohol was illegal in my country, no so here. Everyone here still makes their own plum brandy. I would call that moonshine, hooch, white lightening.

McDonald’s in the States (to the best of my knowledge) and other “family type” restaurants don’t serve alcoholic drinks.

There is such a division between children and alcohol that if a bar were within a certain amount of distance from a school, a petition can be signed and the bar has to close or move.

That just isn’t the case here. Unfortunately, too many children are exposed to alcohol and face the horrible affects from it even before they’re born.

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