Week two…Looking back on week two, I have concluded that you can’t hurry adaptation. It’s not that the learning curve isn’t steep; it’s just that the curve is maxed out. When I was a kid, my dad flew small twin-engine airplanes. If he tried to climb in altitude too quickly, we would ‘stall’ and begin a free fall. I feel the same affect – I try to figure it all out at once, but then the free fall feeling starts.
The difference between visiting and residing is starker in the second week. When you are visiting, the strange oddities and mannerisms are charming novelties. When you are residing, the new way of doing things are ways you need to learn to adopt or a work around needs to be found.
We still find that people are welcoming and when we tell them we are fresh off the plane from the States, they typically show a great deal of empathy. (I have to say the line “We aren’t in Kansas any more” is wearing thin. I may just start describing us as just from the Mid-West.) People that have made the move before – some that came for a couple of years 10+ years ago – are full of helpful suggestions and insights. That is huge as we try to navigate.
I feel like we are making progress. Every day, I wake up with a knot in my stomach. Some days, it goes away during the day and some days it doesn’t. I suppose that’s just being an expat rookie.