I’ve now been home for three weeks. I feel like I have been here a lot longer than that. Everything seems like it is already routine. I’ve figured out the best time to catch the bus from the stop around the corner from my flat, and when to walk to the ‘town square’ as I like to think of it, and catch the bus from the temporary stop there. I’ve gotten good at remembering which stop I need to get off the bus so that I do not have to cross the street twice, and at what time I can catch the bus in the evening and there is still a place to sit. I figured out that my cooker will not work if I do not remember to turn on the power, or that I have to remember to turn the dial on my hot water box in my kitchen before I can wash my dishes after dinner. I figured out that no matter how many times I think of it, I will never remember to flip the switch for the shower before I get to the bathroom (the switch is in the closet in my bedroom). I have figured out that if I check traffic the way that I am used to I am all but asking to get run over by a taxi, car, or the bus. I have figured out that there is such a thing as a cool cart to carry my groceries from the market, and that I do not look like a total dweeb walking down the street with it. I have figured out that the door to my flat is never going to open if I do not turn both door handles at once, and the lift in the building inspired many a horror movie. I have figured out that if I forget to close the curtain in my bedroom, the people on the third floor of the building across the street will get a peek at my goods (and since that privilege is usually reserved for my doctor and men who woo me and at least buy me dinner, it is in my best interest to keep the curtain closed). I have figured out that despite the fact that I get lost all of the time, and have not had internet for the last three weeks, I am very very very happy here.
I was able to spend time this weekend with three gents who were part of the reason I enjoyed myself here, and although things are different, I had forgotten how normal it felt to hang out with them. We saw some free festival comedy, shared some drinks in cute pubs, and I cooked authentic Mexican food in my kitchen to show the boys what they are missing every time they eat Mexican food here. My social circle may be lacking a bit at the moment, and I may not be making as much headway as I want with my work or my thesis, I have moments where I am reminded that this is exactly where I am supposed to be, and once the work gets underway, I will be sad that I complained about all the free time I have now.
I’m forced to wonder though….all of the problems that I had in the States, all of the things that sent me to the dark and twisty, are they still there? What if, when the dust finally settles, Fringe is over, I’m in back-to-back meetings with program directors and the heads of schools, will I start to feel the same way I felt before? FedEx is still holding one of my boxes hostage, and it is the one with dresses, some cups and things to remind me of home (like my rubber duck collection), and my yoga mat. Without that mat, I am hard pressed to do yoga in my flat and its slippery slippery slippery flooring. I have not been able to find my center, and not been able to really relax at the end of the day. In the meantime, I finally get internet in two days, and then I will be able to Skype with my family, really do strong work from home, and not rely on my phone and its small data plan to help me maintain contact with the outside world. I also have some postcards to send, and I will get those off to everyone this weekend.
And until then, I am just going to enjoy my feeling of happiness about all of the things that I have figured out in the last three weeks.