Crete is beautiful. Palm trees sway in the wind where ever I walk, waves pound against the shoreline I can see from my window, and the sun spreads bright haze overall I see. The old buildings and harbor radiate history and culture. It’s nothing like Idaho, with its 60 degrees June weather.
People have asked me if I have experienced culture shock yet. I say no, because culture shock seems negative. Most of the things I see, I expected. I was ready for things to be different. I wanted them to be different.
Of course, you can’t think of everything and there are occasional surprises (not shocks)…
The hotel supplied bedding—two flat white sheets. My mattress consists of a thin sheet of foam stretched over unyielding springs. This is quite different from my pillow top Serta (I call it the bed of clouds) back home, yet each day I have woken up rested and happy. This bed seems easy to sleep in…inviting. Maybe because it is simple, the act of falling asleep is simple in it. It does not crowd you like over-indulgent friends looking to comfort your every need. It does not offer false promises of being the most comfortable thing you ever felt. It doesn’t shelter you, over-heat you, or expect 150 dollar sheets. This is not the type of bed you want to lounge in. It is there for your sleep. If you chose to sleep that is your choice. If not, it’s gonna be a long night and uncomfortable night.
Honestly, my sleep has come quicker, been deeper, and lifted easier than the sleep I get at home. (Surprise!)
To get to my school I weave my way throngs of people with voices that secret strings of sounds that mean nothing to me. Even though the air is humming with the buzz of conversations, it’s sort of lonely.
You don’t realize it so much in daily life, but we are constantly eavesdropping on people—catching snippet after snippet of conversations that are meaningless to us—Johnny started dating a weirdo with a snaggle tooth, Karen wants a different shade of pink nail polish because her current shade is just a little too “granny”, and Timmy is going to get sent into time out if he doesn’t stop running off to the toy section. Here those voices are quieted. You are in a crowd with noises coming from every direction, but you might as well be on a deserted street. You wouldn’t expect peacefulness, but it comes. You’re left alone, able to listen to your own thoughts, thinking about what only you stir up in yourself, rather than having your attention pulled from one random conversation to the next.
Here, there is meditation within the madness. (Surprise!)