21.09.2013 - 21.09.2013 30 °C
Today is my birthday. It sure doesn’t feel like it though. My birthday is usually the autumn equinox; the first day of fall. Usually, the weather at home is still beautiful and warm, but there is a creeping chill in the air in the morning and evening, growing more noticeable day by day. Usually, we are getting into the swing of school; thoughts are beginning to look ahead to Thanksgiving, and maybe even Hallowe’en. We are shifting gear and looking to the shrinking days ahead of us with excitement. I have always loved fall…minus the Canadian West Coast giant house spider’s mating habits…ICK!
Today was a beautiful sunny 30 degree day…that muggy that you hear about, that I was dreading. I am actually not minding it that much and I’m reminding myself how I would grumble under my breath for the last few years, “I can’t take another winter here”…for those of you in Manitoba or Inuvik, don’t say I’m a baby, because there is something about a west coast winter that chills you to the bone and no amount of layering can keep that damp from infiltrating and taking root, and you just can’t shake it off. In the southern hemisphere, today is the first day of spring. We are looking ahead to more heat and humidity, and an hour or so of torrential rain a day we are told. We’ll see how we take to that!
I am afraid I am suffering from a terrible malady, though, these days. It is something I know is natural, and I am well aware that at some point in the near future, this malady with flip on its head, do a 180 degree turn, and leave me flat on my butt whining and sniveling. This malady is called The Honeymoon Phase of Culture Shock. I’m not completely sure I have it, but I DO walk down the streets saying to myself and anyone else who happens to be with me, “wow, this is so cool! Look at that house, and look at the neat way they get rid of their garbage and wow, they are crazy drivers here, and, ahhhh…that (dirty and probably unhygienic) cart of food along the street smells so good and I LOVE Nasi Goreng and chilli sauce and……”
Of course, I’m not terribly delighted when there’s a rat in my room, or almost microscopic ants find their way into everything (never mind the other ants-of-all-sizes trying to get there’s as well) or giant cockroaches lumbering across the kitchen floor. But I have to say, I’m don’t freak about them either. I even had a shower tonight with a little jumping spider and I don’t duck as low at the bats that dive-bomb us on our walk home in the evenings! Those of you who know me well will probably think body snatcher have gotten to me…or will now be convinced that I truly am suffering from some sort of malady. Probably the most distressing thing (and terribly “first world problem”) is the lack of anywhere to get a good cuppa coffee. It’s a shame, too, because I live on the ISLAND OF JAVA!! But apparently, they sell all the good stuff to the rest of the world and keep all the crap at home. Oi vey!
I have actually just really been trying to immerse myself in this experience. I may be going through the honeymoon phase, or I may just be continuing on with the practice of daily gratitude that I have been learning to adopt especially over the last couple of years. I truly am grateful that I’ve been given this gift...the gift of travel, the gift of being part of something I really believe in and that I can see has made, and will continue to make, a real difference in this country that I am giving myself to for a time. I feel like I have been given a second chance. I HAVE been given second chance. I had to go through some pretty dark stuff that has shaken off some arrogance and self-pity. I’m sure there is more to come, and I’m sure this next phase will shake some more things off that need to be gotten rid of...and these days, I am more ready to embrace the changes when they need to happen. I’m not as consumed by fear as I once was. I’ve more joy and I hope it will keep finding a way to bubble up and out to anyone who needs a little love or joy or comfort. Today, the way I live is to just try to love the person in front of me. This could be my “helper”, the guy serving me coffee at the fake Starbucks down the street, or my language teacher. It could even be Hank.
I am missing my daughters terribly.
I have been trying to add an entry mostly of pictures for a while now, but it is not cooperating with me. Hopefully, it WILL cooperate this time, and I will be able to get another blog entry on here sooner than later.
Much love, my friends xo