Sunday 14th February, 2016
Happy Valentine’s Day. People often talk about the commercialism of this day, that it is a sell out. I choose to not see it this way. In a world where days go so quickly, taking a purposeful moment to pause, stop and consider your chosen one isn’t a bad thing. As a couple, you don’t have to buy into the money side of it. Today my loved one let me sleep in (along with yesterday). I bought him a little packet of kisses. He spent half an hour looking for a card that didn’t exist. All small things. All small gestures that actually mean quite a lot.
So I don’t write in ages and when I do I spout on about the day of love, when cupid is hopefully busy hitting targets! Or just simply getting lucky.
Where to begin?
Insert tumbleweeds here.
If you cracked open my head, it would just pour out and not necessarily in any beautiful manner. I would love to tell you everything is rosey. But I would be lying. The question, “Are you loving it?” is my most hated question. No, no I am not. But I didn’t instantly love the Uk when I moved there, nor when I relocated back to Oz. How can I? It is all so damn hard at first. I would like people to change their question. Perhaps the revised question should be, “Are you surviving it?” On most days, yes.
Yet, this email isn’t even about how I have settled.
It is about how I feel like I am in f*&^ing High School again. Oh, I loved High School so much….not. This isn’t even about work. It is about going poolside. Yep. Going to the pool is now my social anxiety moment. I don’t even care if I haven’t shaved, or if it is getting close to be disturbingly hairy in places that shouldn’t be. Nothing that a quick hop in and a dash to towel can’t fix. I also have two year old who is now at a good height to help out with concealing unsightly visions. It is the whole where do I belong crap.
The men sit together and drink. The women sit together and drink. Sometimes the men sit together in the pool and drink. Today I actually found women in the pool, possibly drinking. On the odd occasion, the men and women sit together by the pool….and drink. I don’t drink. Have chosen not to since May last year. An inner ear, possible vertigo thing, not a ‘I am living a healthy crazy thing’ choice.
I am also a working mother. Not so many of those about. And if there are, they work part time, you know, just to keep busy. I also teach some of these people’s children.
I’m just not a cool kid. And it is my fault. I just can’t be bothered trying too hard. I just want to be normal. Daggy. Non drinking. Working because I like my job. Exist beyond the compound I live in. I want to embrace the non western things. Go for roti chani on the weekend. Speak to my Asian neighbours and get to know them OR speak to my expat neighbours who get that we are all out of our comfort zones.
It doesn’t help when I also cannot stand their poolside advice. Let me save that for my next email. You were right though. Everything is bigger in an expat community.
Joan, hope you are well.
p.s. I am failing to proof read this one. I will later.