I spent last week in the US of A. It was a great time. Though I don’t mind at all being where God wants me to be in my ministry, last week showed me why I am glad to be an American.
It could be that I just understand the culture better, but it is my culture and it makes me proud. One cultural difference that frustrated me when I got here (and still does, but not as much) is the whole waiting in line issue. The way it is done in the United States is that people form a casual line always understanding who is in front of them. You don’t have to line up with one person’s nose stuck to the back of the person’s head in front of them. Also lines are wide. Enough for 2 or 3 people to stand side by side and talk.
Mexico works differently. Whoever has their hands on the counter is next. If you are patiently waiting for the person in front of you (which is only ever done by me) then people will lean around you to put their hand on the counter. Out of necessity, lines have to be cordoned off so that it is only wide enough for one person. Otherwise you have people pushing through the line to get their hands on the counter.
I was in a store last week where there were 6 or 7 people casually standing around waiting for a cashier. There were 3 cashiers, so we just took turns until you knew you were there before the next guy. No one complained and no one tried to cut in front of anyone else. How refreshing.
Comparatively, Mexicans stand in many more lines than we do in the US. Yet, they have not learned basic kindergarten courtesy when it comes to standing in a line.
I know that may seem like an insignificant thing to be thankful for, but after you have been pushed out of your place in line twice a day for three years, it is refreshing to be able to stand in line without being assaulted.
Happy 4th! Be proud of your culture.