comfortable adjustments

by Amy

we are here and we are getting adjusted.  a new home in a new city in a returned-to country.  it’s funny when you move, that you forget the things you need to get used to.

keys make a new, unfamiliar noise as they jangle to the lock.

radio stations are found.  buttons one through six are reprogrammed.

the sound of papa’s car, as he pulls home from work…it’s different.  but the same.

beds are familiar but the room noises aren’t so.  the lights you see as you dream with eyes open.  the doors that squeak as you as you make your way around the night.  boards that croak underfoot as you disturb their rest.  it’s all different and new and not yet a nightly custom.

the silverware finds a different drawer.  turn left, not right, to get the spoons.

favorite food brands fall to memory as new foods and names take their place.  kraft is no tillamook and that dancing cow milk has nothing on smith brothers.  but have you tasted the fresh bread or the froop jogurt?

new phone numbers.  new addresses.

nothing is convenient but somehow that is ok.  it is rare to park in front of the building you with to be in.   you have to pay to use a cart.  you must bring your own bags.  there are no drive throughs and nothing comes fast.  but is all a wonderful vacation from entitlement.

heat the rooms with a radiator but open the windows daily to keep the house fresh?  i guess i am confused here….

where do we put the medicine?  who will be using this bathroom?  are you sure you want that bookshelf there?  what cleaning products do we need to buy?  have you found the library yet?

conversations with locals require extra deoderant and patience.  it is nerve-wracking and embarassing when you can’t communicate.  suddenly, i am the foreigner, the one who doesn’t speak the language.  how humbling.  how rude of me not to try but how annoying for them that a simple question takes a 15 minute game of charades.  we try our best and all enjoy the learning game but all the while wishing we could learn it faster.

washing clothes or dishes is a crap shoot.  cooking is a hypothesis at best.  what happens when i press this button?

it is all one big adventure.  one thing i know is true.  one thing i have learned, i carry with me everywhere and i use daily.  smile.  how corny is that?  seriously.  i almost made myself barf with that one.  but it is true.  i also carry pity-me eyebrows with me for most occasions.  when paired with the smile, it seems less painful.  yes i ordered food at the restaurant but no, it wasn’t what i thought i was ordering.  i will eat it anyways.  yes i burned my first batch of fish sticks in the oven and no, i didn’t realize that i used three different languages when trying to speak with you, stranger, until after i walked away.

i am new here.  that’s ok.  it’s all just one big adventure and by the time i get it all figured out, have the house all set up and a brand new bottle of windex in hand, the military will move us again.

and i will love it all.

all over again.