Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Pleasant journeying

Recently while riding in the metro, I witnessed my first Russian mass giggle attack. When I first rode the Russian metro several years ago, the wagon starting moving and I immediately fell over. It was a humorous event, and naturally I began to laugh. At that point our interpreter whispered sternly, “Do NOT laugh in the metro.” I am sure that she meant to protect us. But since then I have tried to affect a more stoic expression as I travel.

Imagine my surprise the other day when the Russians began to giggle in the metro. I am not sure what happened; perhaps an old lady acting up or a small child saying funny things. It started down at one end of the car and spread to my end, where people began to giggle, not even knowing why. It was contagious. I was amazed.

Today, however, started in a mood of melancholy. I felt a heavy burden and asked the Lord to show me what I should change in my heart. Sometimes you just want to find the answer; to simply perform a certain action and receive the desired result. But at that point I knew that there wasn’t anything I could do. The Lord would comfort me in His own time.

The surprise blessing was a friendly and competent marshrutka (taxi? bus? bus-taxi? mini-bus?) driver. I didn’t even get carsick. The driver was so kind; when he inadvertently went past my stop, he said, “I’m sorry, I misunderstood you.” I wanted to hug him! Well, not really.

On the way home I had a nice driver too! I only got a little carsick from sitting sideways. As the passengers piled in, I felt a sudden surge of love for them. This is not something that you feel every day when you ride the public transportation. :) And then I realized that the release had come.

Note: On CNN recently, there was a story about Miami having the worst road rage. As examples, it cited drivers talking on cell phones and running red lights. After living in Russia, it sounds pretty tame to me. :)

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