17 hours ago
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
The pity party isn't over, but the light has come back on. Just naming it, talking about it, doing a little research on the phenomena has helped. As someone very wise and dear to me pointed out: I have to consciously seek life-giving input into my days. I think that means more than a strong gin and tonic and handful of crispy chocolates. Though in a pinch that's been more life-giving than nothing at all. Maybe adding some worship music on the i=pod as I climb those stairs. Maybe getting off my arse and climbing those stairs again.
I really hadn't realized, until it was gently pointed out to me, how truly different this territory is than the one I left behind. There are some really awesome people along on this journey with me. A few close at hand who are new close friends. And others that are on the journey with me though not touchable close. That doesn't discount the fact that there is not a single thing in my daily routine that is the same as it was before. (OK, and I am just going to drop a little tear right here as I typed that sentence and felt the empty spot that Satchmo, my super dog, used to fill). I had my share of pity parties in my former life as well. (Note to self: glorifying one's past location is another typical symptom of culture shock). I am going to try to find the humor in what I see and experience here. And folks, if one were to look, one could see irony all around. Take for example the road sign we encountered on our way to Al Ain a while back (above). Beware surprises.
Here's something else to think about: at home I had probably a dozen or so good friends that I could call up and plan to do something with. Or even just hang out with doing nothing in particular. Here I have...well, you can count them on one hand and still have a finger left to scoop out a nice blob of Nutella and plop it in the mouth. The others I am with by circumstance: we are dependent on each other and so we try to get along but I am sure the feeling is neutral: that we wouldn't likely be hanging together if we had our base support group closer at hand.
Across the street at Lulu's Hypermarket (our really big mall grocery store) I ordered from the grill counter. I got four shish kabob sticks of ground lamb, six small grilled pita breads, a small tub of hummus, a "salad" (which turned out to be a small clump of parsley. That's it. Just parsley) and a scoop of French fries (which I did not eat). The whole meal, which actually provided me with two meals, could have been three if I had fried up the potatoes for breakfast, cost me 15 dirham. That's less than US$5. There is no sales tax here. I also bought a bag full of broccoli that cost me 18 dirham. Go figure. Very strange to figure out the pricing of everything. Obviously, the local laborers (like the guys running the grill) don't get paid much. And the broccoli came from somewhere further away than the lamb.
We finally got bottled water service to our flat. We bought a cooler well over a week ago. It took me over a week to coordinate with the water company to get someone over to deliver it. Hope when we need a refill it will happen more quickly. Instead of having to buy 5 liter bottles at about 3 dirham a bottle we now get 5 gallon bottles for 7.5 dirham. Plus it's oh so cold and handy and frees up space in our fridge. Oh the little joys. I will however miss my daily calling to the water company and taking my frustrations out on them. I believe, however, they will not miss those calls. I tried not to shoot the messenger. Really I did. But I think I may have wounded a few egos in the process.
There is a shop a few blocks up. It is called the "Butt Sweet Shop." I will take pictures to prove it. What do you think happens in that shop? I hope they sell T-shirts. Maybe that is where I need to go to buy an attitude adjustment.
Posted by Lou Woods