First Impressions

I’m jumping ahead in time here. I want to go back and write posts all about our summer before the big move and the move itself, but I need to get my thoughts out about our first few days here while they’re still fresh.

The main thing is…I haven’t left the apartment in days. I don’t like that. Normally in a new city I would get out and explore explore explore, but there are a couple of reasons why I’m housebound, the first and main reason being the heat. It’s currently 104 degrees, which is a few degrees shy of the high today and it’s supposed to reach 108 on Tuesday. The one time I have been out of the building since arriving here was a walk to the cafeteria on campus for lunch two days ago. Stepping outside from a well air conditioned building into the heat is like hitting a wall. The air is THICK. May immediately started crying, which kinda broke my heart. There’s nothing I can do to make it better for her. I’m sure she’ll get used to it, but that’ll take some time. We’ll all get used to it. But that’s not something that’s easily explainable to a one and a half year old. Adele complained about the heat, but at least she didn’t cry about it.

We also don’t have a stroller, because the airline lost it, so I have to carry May if we need to go any distance, which just makes us hotter. And that chubby baby is heavy! So I’m not inclined to go far.

We also don’t have a car yet, so if we want to venture off campus, we have to take a taxi, which means riding with the girls on our laps instead of in car seats. I know this is how much of the world does it, but it still freaks me out a bit.

There’s also the challenge of not speaking the same language as anyone else. Okay, sure, almost all of the people we’ve encountered “speak English,” but it is very hard to understand and communicate back. And we have to figure out money and the exchange rate, yadda yadda yadda. Excuses excuses.

This is our third full day here and we have not yet gone grocery shopping! I am very ashamed by that. Luckily, I packed enough snacks on the plane in case we got stranded somewhere (I fully expected Bardarbunga to erupt in Iceland and to have to make an emergency landing in Greenland). We’re still working through those, plus Jeff went to the convenience store on campus and got cereal and milk and noodles, and we got pizza delivered, which we have eaten for lunch and dinner and lunch again. True confession time: we don’t even have toilet paper. Good lord, we are pathetic.

Oh, and on top of everything else, I don’t have a key to either our building or our apartment! Only Jeff does! That’s just another of the very, very many bureaucratic things we need to take care of. And they’re all dependent on something being accomplished before, so it takes time. Especially in this country, which we learned long ago likes to take its time to accomplish anything.

Jeff has had many things to do on campus in these first couple of days, which means I’ve been alone with the kids in our apartment for much of the time. Luckily, this place is spacious and the girls have room to run around. There is also a play room on the floor above us. It doesn’t have too much in there, but it’s a different space, so it amuses the girls for a while. And there’s always the chance that another family will come in and I am hungry to meet people!

One hilarious thing is that I am cold. Constantly shivering cold. The ac is always on, obviously. And it is strong and it does its job well. I LOVE IT. I love being cold. I love that I can live in a desert country and still curl up with a blanket and drink hot coffee. And wear slippers.

The girls seem happy. They say they are happy. Children are so amazingly adaptable. The only problem has been jet lag, but it hasn’t been as bad as I feared. Adele slept through the first two nights like a champion, but May woke up at 3am the first night and 2am the second. That was ok, because Jeff and I were pretty awake too. Last night, May slept so long, we had to wake her at 7am, but of course, that was the night that Adele didn’t sleep well. She woke up and cried and Jeff went out to get her. I started to get up, because I assumed it was morning (and I absolutely felt like I had had a full night’s sleep), but when I looked at my phone, I saw that it was only 10…10pm! Jeff and I had fallen asleep around 8 and only gotten two hours of sleep. I was so discombobulated. Right now I’m letting the girls take a long nap, because we’re going out to a welcome dinner later, so we can’t all fall asleep so early!

That’s it for now. I’ll try to post more regularly once we get more settled. And I’ll start to include pictures, because that’s a lot more interesting than words words words. (A little Hamlet for you. You’re welcome.)

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