Second first impressions

It's not often that you get to form a first impression a second time, but we had one such opportunity yesterday.

As I mentioned, we went to church in Irbid. After the meeting, we went over to the Bradshaws' house for lunch (the Bradshaws are humanitarian service volunteers from our church). I had only met them once or twice before, and had never been to their home.

At least, I thought I hadn't, until we walked in the door. Then I immediately realized that we had indeed been to their apartment, and actually spent the night there almost three years ago. At that time, however, it belonged to a previous set of church volunteers.

The reason this realization was so striking was the difference in impressions I had between that first visit to that apartment and this second "first" visit. When we went to Irbid for the first time in September of 2004, we had been living in Syria for only a few months. We had only recently come to terms with all the strange, often annoying idiosyncrasies of our apartment there, and we still didn't have hot water (though the weather was so hot that that was mostly by choice...mostly).

So I distinctly remember walking into that apartment in Irbid in 2004 and having to keep my new-to-the-Middle-East self from marveling at the gorgeous floors, palatial kitchen (with a
working oven!!) and lovely bathroom, complete with shower and hot water. In fact, until we moved to Jordan in 2006, I maintained that that was the nicest apartment I had ever seen in this part of the world.

Since then, I have seen lots of gorgeous apartments here in Jordan. And so yesterday, when we walked into that apartment in Irbid for the second first time, I was hardly struck at all with its "niceness."

Is it nicer than many apartments? Definitely.

But I didn't feel like bowing down and worshiping the toilet fixtures like I did three years ago.

Power trips

Going to church naked