An observation I've had of late, is the word 'sorry'. Europeans don't say it as much as we do. Not half as much. That's the one thing I (well, both W. and I, actually) noticed when I first came here, was how often I said 'sorry'. We interject it into sentences or situations so smoothly and stealth-like. I won't go so far as to say it's lost it's meaning. I don't think it has. I just think that we are short of taking ownership of it or our actions and over-using it. (Addendum: when I say 'we' I mean Canadians. Americans use it a lot too, but I don't think as much as us, really.) It came to the point that I would be out and about and maybe accidentally bump into someone at the store. I would say 'sorry', cause that's what we do. But when someone bumps into me, they don't say sorry. I would have a knee-jerk reaction of thinking it was rude of them not to. Okay, perhaps that's a bad example. Or they'll cut ahead of you in an isle. They don't apologize for that, either. I view it as rude, they view it as simply taking their place. They all do it and we both approach it with a completely different mentality. One day a Dutch person said sorry to me and I had to turn around and look at them twice, it was so weird. Now, don't go thinkin' Dutch people are rude. They're not. They're some of the kindest and nicest people I've met. They just.. approach life a little differently.
Funny story; I was writing a recipe for the magazine and at one point I said (translated), "Feel free to add x, y or z to the recipe as other options." W. chuckles and calls me over and he said, "Um, honey.. this part here where you tell people to "feel free"? Yeah, we don't say that. You don't tell people here to 'feel free' to do anything. We were occuppied for 5 years... we just do it." Touche. Fair statement. After a bit of a laugh and feeling a
So that's a classic example of their mentality, if it helps you at all. I can't say I'd act any differently.
I find myself saying more and more that things are different here. A part of me still expects some things to be the same. Mass, for one, confession for another (these are just a couple examples off the top of my head). I think these little 'changes' or frustrations are piling up and I'm not sure how I'm processing them in my head. Holidays are different. I've already said they don't have the same "whooplah" that we have for holidays back home. Things aren't as commercialized here and maybe advertised a week or two ahead of the occassion (not 2 months). My birthday is this coming Friday and I wanted to celebrate but a) I'm not going to celebrate it on Good Friday and b) this is Easter weekend. Not a lot of people celebrate Easter (at least, not in our circle) but they may be out if the weather is nice. I haven't bothered to ask for people over for a gathering, really, because I can't decide what I want to do or when I want to do it. We also had plans to go away, but since then they have been cancelled. This weekend is so much up in the air, it's making my OCD twitchy. The only plans we have is his parents want to take us out for dinner (celebrating a double birthday; his dad's was Sunday) Saturday night. Mind you, it's at one of my favourite restaurants, so it makes me happy :) I really want to ask myself what I want and what's important to me. Sure, there are a few kitchen gadgets I'd love to have (as I say half-jokingly), but I have everything I want; I'm where I want to be with who I want to be with and with a roof over our head. What more can I ask for? If I was back in Canada I would be having celebrations (multiple dinners, teas, coffees, visits) with the people I cared most about, but things are a lot different here. It's rare to go out for dinner or tea or coffee. If I really want to break it down (and be honest), I think I'm used to the anti-clamatic build up to events, and I'm not getting that here. It's funny how much you notice it when it doesn't happen. It's become so cyclical that it feels like something's missing when it doesn't happen. So then I feel a bit down and dispirited.. and I'm not sure how to process it.
I'm not sure what to do for Easter Sunday. Usually I would make a nice meal for a friend or two or three after a very full (in attendance) and joyful Easter Mass. I would bake something special (Dulce des Tres Leche cake, anyone?). There would be socializing. And now... W. doesn't care 'cause he doesn't celebrate Easter, and if he's not ramped up about something, it's hard for me to get half as excited. All of our inner circle doesn't celebrate Easter, so aside from (both of us) going to Mass, I'm on my own. I have one friend who does celebrate it, but she'll be with her family (and please don't suggest I spend it with them). I just don't know how to move forward right now. I miss making a big deal of things.
Well, this post has taken a downturn. Perhaps I should get up and get something done, move my right hip a bit (have been having problems). The dishes don't do themselves, unfortunately.
I will talk to W. tonight though, and let him know my thoughts. It's so easy to stay in your head about things sometimes that it's easy to pass over the fact that your other half can actually help you get over hurdles. Even if it's just voicing your thoughts, it's nice to have them out in the open and not locked up. It's easy to become independent (or for me, go back to my old ways), when we're really there for the other person to lean on. And you know what, it's been a looooooooong time since I've said a prayer. Perhaps I'll do that in my chores tonight.
Hope your world is treating you well.