Arriving in a new place, one that you’re going to be living in for a few months, is always an interesting event. I’ve not been here 48 hours yet, but we’ve already got a new flat, new car, and found the local grocery store which was a whole experience in itself.
My reactions to things have tended to be split between loving what I discover and thinking why on earth…?!
In the loving category so far comes the ice machine in the freezer, the lanai (that’s a terrace to you and I; dumb word but I love sitting out there), having use of three pools, discovering the supermarket has half an aisle solely devoted to crackers, being worried we haven’t got enough time to shop and then discovering the supermarket stays open until 10pm, blueberry bagels, and finding out that the major upside of jetlag is getting to see a beautiful sunrise.
In the what on earth…?! category falls the confusion over labelling on eggs (“not fed meat products” – you mean the others get steak for dinner?), the $5 dollar charge for a luggage trolley in the airport, the bizarre promotional videos shown while you’re queuing at immigration, cheese on everything, and the man standing next to me in the airport train wearing a neon pink string vest under a yellow checked shirt. I kid you not.
I guess in all of this I am trying to enjoy the newness and even the weirdness, and not fall into the cynical We-do-it-better trap which is so easy for us Europeans to do when it comes to America.
As we sat out on the lanai last night (yes, I’m going to keep italicising it), grilling pork chops, asparagus and peppers, we just kept saying “we are so lucky”. It’s easy to wonder (read: worry) about what comes next, about career paths and opportunities, so much that the future starts stealing the present. My aim these three months is to live every moment, and let the future take care of itself.