Monday, September 21, 2009

"Toto...we're not in Kansas anymore."

I've always been a spitter.  Or maybe not.  Maybe I became a spitter when I became a runner.  No one thought twice about spitting during practice;  you run, you get phlegm, you spit.  Unfortunately for me:
1. This habit has been deeply engrained into my psyche and is now a knee-jerk reaction.
2. I function with a high level of phlegm.

I honestly just forget that it is not socially acceptable unless I'm in the middle of a cardio-vascular activity.  There have been many times at church when I'm walking between buildings that I'll let one fly without thinking.  In a dress.

You can imagine my exuberance when I read Heather's blog about Finland being a spitting culture .  We arrived and I experienced it for myself.  She was right.  People--young and old, rich and poor, unashamedly spitting left and right.  Oh the freedom;  oh the bliss.  I was in spitting heaven.  The other day a little girl got out of her car and hacked a big one right in front of me, luckily missing my shoes.  I wanted to hug her.

Then on Thursday we left Finland and arrived in London.  We were standing at a proper crosswalk, waiting for the light to turn.  My nose started to tingle with drippiness, so without thinking, I emptied out both nostrils with a good 'ol farmers blow.  That didn't feel like it did the trick, so I finished the job by spitting.  My head lifted only to meet the eyes of two women in front of me whose heads were turned watching me.  They stared uncomfortably as I slowly began to remember that I was not in Finland anymore.  After a few awkward moments basking in their looks of shame, I wanted to mouth to them I'm from Wisconsin (and my mom taught me how to farmer's blow) or --if that didn't suffice--I just lived in Finland.  Soon their punishing glares were over and the light turned.  I crossed the street and said to Colby, "I just got a blog post idea."

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