Journaling in McDonald’s

Jen Jen came to help out again today, giving us the ability to get out of the Home for a few hours over the babies’ naptime. One of the social workers drove us to town, and we took a cab home. Again it felt like a miracle to have made to town without an accident.

Sometime in the last few years, shopping has become less interesting to me. And sometime in the last few years, journaling in coffee shops has become more interesting to me. After traipsing around from shop to shop for bit with the other girls, I headed out on my own.


First, I pick up some very necessary deodorant at Cosmed, a store similar to Walgreen’s. (Yes, I packed some, I’m just using mine up far more quickly than I expected! Have I said it’s hot here yet?)

Though the streets we shop on really do all look the same, I remember where a small family-owned, office supply-selling business is located. I go right to the spot I remember notebooks being, and I buy a cute, gingham print cover one. On it is a poor attempt at English, reading “most advanced quality gives best writing features & gives satisfaction to you.” There also seems to be a spot for the notebook owner’s name, but it says “now” at the top of the blank white space. I get a fine-point green pen for 10 NT (about 30 cents).

I cut through the park to the one spot I know I can sit in the air-conditioning: McDonald’s. I get more stares in the park, like everywhere. One older man makes what must be his grandson wave and say “hello” in English. Even more stares shoot my way in McDonald’s, where I swear all the uniformed high school kids must gather after school. I order a Sprite and head up to the third floor where it seems to be less crowded.

No sooner have I picked a spot before I realize the girl next to me is praying before eating her combo number two meal. I wait for her to finish, then gently tap her arm. “Do you speak English?,” I ask slowly. She only gives me a confused look and glances around to see if anyone understands me. “It’s okay,” I say. “Yesu? (Jesus?),” I ask and clasp my hands together as if in prayer. She nods and smiles and continues eating.

(Oh, how I wish I knew Mandarin… Oh, how I wish I knew any other language in addition to English. Knowing another language would literally give me the ability to communicate with millions more people.)

I continue sipping and journaling for over an hour.

Praising God.

Admitting my faults to God.

Asking things of God.

And thanking God.

It’s a wonderful escape from the heat and craziness of the Home. And so similar to something I would do at home. What a comforting, rejuvenating, much-needed time it was.

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4 thoughts on “Journaling in McDonald’s

  1. Hey, Kalyn told me about your blog and I just read through a few of your posts. In addition to being a great photographer, you’re a great writer too! Maybe this blog will be famous someday. =) Anyway… Know that Kalyn and I are in this struggle with you, even if we hardly get to see you these days. I’ll try to be praying for you (I’m not always perfect at that sort of stuff, so no promises I can’t keep =]) because I’ve definitely felt and still feel a lot of what you’ve written about here. Thanks for sharing, and keep writing.

    1. The store was in Luodong, but it really only had a few notebooks… no stationary really. Sorry β€” best wishes in Taipei!

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