Friday, February 28, 2014

This Is Not the Movies (long post)

Warning: some language.

Let's be honest, this blog is my therapy.  Sure it's nice to write and catch you up on stuff, but it also helps me to talk about things that happen.  Like last night.  Sooo.... I'm gonna start out with the not so good.

The not so good: I was at choir last night for practice and already for the first song I was a bit overwhelmed.  Remember I'm learning new music to new words in a new section (alto).  Not only on top of having to pay attention to all of that, I have to *try* to understand what the director is saying (thank goodness for hand gestures).  Oh and hey, did I mention the song we were working on changed time like.. 5 times?  3/2, 4/4, 3/4, 5/8 and hey, let's bring it back to 3/2 time again.  I almost lost my shit.  Okay, so mostly I just listen and word-follow until I get the hang of it.  We're on a small break between songs and this old man behind me taps me on the shoulder and starts saying something in Dutch at like, 100 mph.  My head kind of spins at that point and I say with a smile, "Woa, sorry sweetheart, you're gonna have to say that in English." "You're going to have to learn Dutch!" he says.  I want to burst into tears.  Instead, I pull myself together in a micro-second and say pleasantly with a smile, "I am!" He received that well and continued to tell me he could put a 'map' together for me if I'd like (map in Dutch = folder in English).  I said that would be wonderful and anything will help.

I was 'off' the rest of the practice.  I wanted to walk away, do an ugly cry and sit in that church and ask God why the HELL I'm even here.  So I did that, at coffee break (where we practice is a separate room from the nave of the church).  I didn't really feel like conversing with anyone else, so The Big Guy and I had a few words.  I stood facing the altar.  Well, perhaps I was more upset and angry and maybe doing a, "I've gotten myself into this, please help me get out of it" stare.  I took a breath and returned to practice, fighting back tears and asking myself the entire time, "Why am I even here?" & angry at the man's remarks.  I knew it was going to take one asshole to make a comment like that, I'm just surprised it took so long.

Now don't get me wrong, I sing with very pleasant people.  This is just a man who didn't bother to think before he spoke; I've been to like, 4 practices, I've been in the country 8 months, I'm not fluent yet.. and you can't start rambling to me out of nowhere at 100 mph thinking I'm going to understand you.  This is me being defensive.  If I'm going to be proper about it, maybe I need to take ownership of what I said, and maybe he was the one being defensive.  Maybe I could have worded what I said differently.  This isn't the first time.  Maybe I need to acknowledge this instance shook me to my core because he hit a nerve.  If I'm *really* honest, I need to acknowledge I haven't been pushing myself as hard as I a) should be and b) normally would to learn the language.  Why?  Multiple reasons I guess, but it doesn't matter right now.

When you see Julia Roberts (Eat, Pray, Love) move to Italy, practicing the language, speaking fluently without any negative responses or heartache, it lends romanticism to being in a new country.

Nothing prepares you for this transition.  Absolutely nothing.  I walked into this knowing there would be hard days, I knew it wouldn't always be easy and romantic.  But some days just drop kick you out of nowhere and you're lying on the ground with cartoon stars and exclamation points shaking your head wondering wtf.

Don't get me wrong, I still want to be here.  I still want to continue living and creating a life here.  When you ask me how I'm doing, I'll say fantastic.  That's 'cause the good out-weighs the bad ten-fold.  I don't know what these days do.  I guess they sort of keep me in check, remind me (like I needed it) that I'm the foreigner, keep me grounded, that with 1 person who doesn't understand, there are 20 who do. I've been out of my comfort zone for 8 months.  Do I even have a comfort zone here?  I don't know what defines that, yet. Also, I think your perception of inhabiting a country is different for when you just visit, or move there permanently.

Bah.  Enough of that stuff.  I need to catch you up on the good.

The great: I went to the retirement home a few weeks ago and had a meeting.  It went fantastic!  In a strange twist of fate, I went in inquiring about socializing with the residents, but once she heard about my food/kitchen experience, she was on me like white on rice to volunteer in the kitchen.  I don't think I could have said no if I wanted to :P  She told me they barely use their kitchen anymore (they bring food in).  Maybe basic things like soup or stamppot.  There's an oven there that's barely being used.  "Oh, that's so sad!" I said. "It is!" she returned.  So she was going to talk to her collegue and get back to me.  We now have a meeting next Thursday.  Dude... a kitchen all to myself.  I can't even wrap my head around it.  She took me for a tour and indeed, it was pretty empty.  That lonely oven was just sitting there, calling to me :P  So we'll see what they need me for and how else I can contribute.  The cogs are already turning.

I've created a Facebook page for my "business" (I still use the term loosely as I'm not fully developed yet), FKNL (Food Knows No Language).  Please go 'like' it if you haven't yet!  And W and I were looking at web hosting sites to see who we should go with, to make a webpage.  I still have to price my recipes, order packaging, make sure I have an extensive list of what I want to sell.  These are all tedious things and I keep putting them off.  When we create the webpage, I'll publish it here so you can take a look!

We've had great weather lately.  Temperatures have been hovering around 10 degrees C lately (aside from today and the next few).  Still, being so close to the sea it's cool and often windy.  Doesn't feel as nice as 10 degrees should.  I hear you're still getting hammered with snow back in Canada.  You must be sick of it.  Hang in there, March is just around the corner.

Busy day today so I'm going to get moving.  Not many plans for the weekend; W works tomorrow so I'm not sure how I'm going to fill my time.  I have a chat date in the afternoon though, that I'm highly looking forward to.  Sunday we've asked W's parents over for breakfast (pancakes - Canada style).  Maybe I'll go to market tomorrow morning, if the weather is pleasant (read: not raining).

Hope you have a great weekend!  Have fun!

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