Exactly a week since my last post! Not bad, not bad. Today was the first day of school (actual ‘teaching’, not planning time) so I have been extra vigilant about writing. I don’t want to be one of those people who starts a blog, writes prolifically for a month, and then…….well……stops.
Because there is so much I want to share with you!
Firstly, the shine of being in a new country has not become tarnished. That’s exciting. It’s nice to be able to wake up, look outside, and still feel excited that you’re “somewhere else.” I know so many people who are quick to point out that I won’t “feel that way for much longer” or that “this is the honeymoon period”, but I would argue that such people don’t know me nearly as well as I know myself. From the time I was young, I loved to travel. I looked out an airplane window on the way to Vancouver with a mixture of eagerness, excitement, and anxiousness. I felt tears spring to my eyes when I hiked the rugged terrain of the Shetland Islands in Northern Scotland (it felt like ‘coming home’ if that makes any sense….there was a huge feeling of ancestral bonding), and I grinned like an idiot all the way to the top of the city when I went to see the Acropolis.
I am–and I sincerely do not mean this to sound arrogant–a great traveler. I adjust quickly to culture, trends, and bad transportation systems. I would rather face sunstroke waiting to see the Sistine Chapel (it almost happened too..it was hot) than to curl up in my room, sob in the fetal position, and wish for home. This is not to say I don’t miss home. I miss it. But I can hold that part of myself entirely separate from the thrills of navigating an entirely new corridor of culture. While I sigh and have fits of frustration, I am also at once aware that even the frustration itself is foreign, and that presents excitement. After all, I’d rather have a bad experience shopping in the Middle East than Prince George. So I feel weary at the throngs of people, who, for whatever reason, seem so quick to try and assert their experiences with Kuwait with my own. Let me look out onto the palm trees, feral cats, hazy sky, and blue ocean and leave me the hell alone.
This week has been full of fullness. Let me elaborate in case that was too eloquent to decipher.
This week has been packed with STUFF. Teaching stuff: getting my classroom ready (which looks AWESOME by the way), and planning awesome lessons for my students. Doing stuff: it’s been tough hanging out poolside these days (said nobody, EVER) but I’ve made the best of it. Thursday night (which is the equivalent to Friday here) was a beach party with some teacher friends. It was in the dark, on the beach, and I saw two rats. It was exciting in the way that dirty beach parties are exciting. There was litter on the sand, but it was accented by great friends, and incredibly good veggie dogs, so the scum easily washed off when I got home.
I also got a toaster. Guys…I know. I know that sounds sad.
“Did you read Kristin’s blog,” you whisper to friend B. “She got a toaster and she’s all ‘hooray it’s the greatest thing ever.’ Kinda sad, hey?”
Friend B: “I don’t actually read her blog, but that’s fucking depressing.”
Friend A: “Nobody reads her blog. Maybe that’s why she’s excited about a toaster.”
Friend B: “That’s soooooo sad.”
Don’t feel bad for me. Feel happy! Because although the little things are making me happy, I can appreciate that I took the toaster I have at home for granted. NOT having one sucks. We arrived here on the 22nd, so it took two and half weeks into my life here to grow weary of tearing into raw bread. The toaster was a bit of an indulgence, too. Although I am fiercely against Wal-Mart’s poor ethics, I still sheepishly cash in on a few of their items from time to time. You know, like Tylenol, Soy milk, and cheap toasters. So it’s not like this one was ridiculously expensive or anything, but it was more expensive than a Wal-Mart toaster. So I finally got to have toast. That was a big thing guys. Big thing.
So..toast, beach parties….living the life, right? Well, yeah, sorta. I mean, again…my apartment’s ghetto, but I wake up every day knowing that there will be blue sky and +35 temperatures. That’s pretty awesome when this time of year in Canada is reminiscent of conceding to shoes instead of flip-flops, seeing your breath in the morning, and watching leaves fall from the trees. So yeah, I’ll take it.
I’ll report this weekend, after the craziness of the week. 🙂