Here's a glimpse into what's "normal" for me.
America, summer 2011:
Normal is arriving at a new place and staying in the home of people you've never met before. Normal is finding out there are fewer than six degrees of separation between you and that family.
Normal is speaking at 1-2 different churches every week and rarely hearing a sermon that you are not preaching. Normal is finding time while driving to listen to a sermon from a church in San Diego that you have never attended. Normal is being outgoing and friendly simply because it's necessary then riding in the car in silence for an hour.
Normal is going less than 30 days without living out of a suitcase. Normal is having 2 different pastors in 2 different countries, and "home" churches in multiple states. Normal is thinking that a church service held entirely in English is just too easy.
Normal is wondering if people in America actually call it "Philadelphia" instead of "cream cheese." Normal is getting confused about the money that is not color-coded. Normal is thinking that American pop culture is weird.
Normal is attending a church service where you sing along to songs you barely understand. Normal is hanging out a girls' camp for the day and zoning out most of the time because you don't understand. Normal is joining group games with the help of others to translate/interpret.
Normal is feeling some distance (communication) between myself and the
people around me at church, or those I meet, even when we are back to
back on public transport. Normal is listening to one of the KCA moms speak Spanish, then responding in Russian.
Normal is not knowing literal translations of signs, but only the practical implications. Normal is having American friends who are not from your home state. Normal is when you have to plan extra time to prepare ingredients for cooking because there are not pre-packaged salad mixes or boxed things like Hamburger Helper. Normal is saying that spring begins on March 1, even if it snows 2 weeks later.
Normal is not having internet for the first week. Normal is routine activities taking all day. Normal is having to live by a different kind of clock. Normal is thinking of at least 2 uses for every object in your house;
i.e., a radiator can help thaw raw meat, or a wet Q-tip works as an
"eraser" on overhead transparencies. Normal is being entertained easily by catching the пух with a vacuum cleaner. Normal is picking up and paying for train tickets at the church, and not at a cashier at the train station. Normal is paying for bags at the grocery store.
Normal is inviting 2 American English teachers whom you have never met, but only chatted with one online because they know another missionary friend of yours, to stay in your apartment for three or four days. Normal is the kitchen being a perfectly logical place to tell them to put their used bath towels.
To quote Youth in Mission, "That's different, but that's okay!"
What's "normal" in your part of the world?