Monday, May 14, 2012

...And I smiled.

Today was a rainy day in London.  (Go figure.)

We had planned to have a book table and to pass out portions of Gospel literature.  Due to the rain, and because we had a small team today, we decided to spend time in a mall where it was dry.  While in the mall our goal was to talk to people we saw sitting on a bench, or in a store looking at that really cute purse (which, I totally just wrote as "person" instead of "purse" know it's late when...).

While in one of the stores I was in the check-out line to purchase a very British and slightly discounted book for my baby cousin.  As I got to the front of the line, I said to the cashier, "Hello!  How are you doing today?  How is your day?"  A few silent seconds went by before she responded to me.  Looking up from the register with a puzzled look on her face, she looked up at me and asked, "Are you talking to me??"

Shocked at her response, I told her, "Of course!  How is your day going?"  She told me, "Oh...It's going okay.  I just started work.  But...Customers never ask how my day is going...I wasn't expecting that."

During the day I didn't get into any "deep conversations" about God.  However, I think that's okay.  As my friend said today, "Sometimes it's just about showing up for duty and being willing to be used for God."  God will take care of the rest if you show up.

Plus, I think days like this are okay.  Sometimes I think it's about showing people God's love by just a simple smile and a question of, "How are you doing today?"  or, "How is your day going so far?"

How many people go through the day without receiving a smile?  Without being asked if they are doing okay?  Without a person to show that they care - even just a little bit?

Yes, we should speak about God's love.  There is no question about that!  But days like today?  We didn't speak about God's love, instead, we showed it.  We let our lights shine for His glory.  I may have asked a simple question or given a 5 second smile, but who knows what God can do with a few simple caring words or friendly facial expression.

Today I didn't get into any deep conversations about God...But I showed up for duty, and I smiled.

Who are you showing God's love to today??

The Travelin' Chick,

Friday, May 11, 2012

British English Vs. American English

Recently I had a conversation with a British friend who is part of our group for a month.  As we were talking, I asked her, "Are you fixin' to leave?"  (Yes, I am from California I said "fixin to"...I sometimes surprise myself when I say that phrase.)  Looking at me with a confused facial expression, she said, "I have no idea what you just said.  What does that even mean?"  Then I had to translate my momentary Southern American English to "normal American" English.

A few weeks back I was talking to my mom on Skype.  I told her how I had some left over chips, so I put them in the fridge to eat at a later time.  Confused, she asked, "Why did you put your chips in the fridge?????"  Then I remembered - chips in America are not the same as the chips in England!

What are some other differences between American and British English?  I've started a collection of words and phrases that differ and thought I would post some for you to enjoy yourself!

(Left word will be British, and the right word will be translated into American.)

  • Mate - Friend
  • Flat - Apartment
  • Tea Towel - What you use to dry your dishes
  • Nappy - Diaper
  • Lift - Elevator
  • Jumper - Sweater
  • Jim-Jams - Pajamas (I think this one is my all time favorite!)
  • Crisps - Chips
  • Chips - French Fries
  • Candy Floss - Cotton Candy
  • Finz - Gold Fish (You have nooo idea how excited I was to find my favorite snack!!)
  • Straight Away - Right away (For example, "I need to do my homework straight away/right away!)
  • Mobile - Cell Phone
  • Mum - Mom
  • Rubbish - Trash
  • Courgette - Zucchini
  • Trolley - Shopping Cart/Buggy
  • Queue - Line
  • Trousers - Pants
  • Pants - Underwear (Often I use the phrase, "Put on your big boy/girl pants and deal with it!"...I guess either translation works with the word "pants", but I work really hard to remember to say trousers instead!)
  • Cinema or Film - Movies (Apparently this word is very American.)

Some of those words I've noticed myself adapting to, but also the words, "proper" (Example: "Do you have the proper book for this assignment?")  and "brilliant".  And just like my British friend had to tell me, "I have no idea what you just said"...There are times when the situation is reversed.  Sometimes I look at my British friends with the same confused look with the question of, "What does that even mean?"  Sometimes figuring out what food products are called here are even an adventure (such as the zucchini being called a "courgette").

I hope you've enjoyed your first lesson on British English Vs. American English.  If I remember, I'll try to share more with you another time.  I only wish I could tell you how to pronounce words that America and England have in common.  The only one I can explain easily on my blog and in written form is the word "idea".  Many British people I've heard use this word say, "idear" instead.  A lot of their "er" parts in words also turn into an "a".  For example, "Jumper" would sound more like "Jumpa" ("Did you bring your jumpa?").

Now that you've learned some of their phrases and words, it is time to start practicing your British accent.  Maybe you can do better than me!  Apparently, I am "rubbish" at imitating how the British speak! ;-)

The Travelin' Chick,