Edit Blog Post
Published: August 31st 2018
The face of a man whose life has been turned upside down
If you look up culture shock, it supposedly goes in four stages. Honeymoon, frustration, adjustment and finally, acceptance. I was not sure how long it would take to get to frustration, but I can certainly say that we got there today. Perhaps frustration is not the word, or perhaps frustration and overwhelmed are the two words, that I am looking for and feeling right now.
We got our house yesterday, which was supposed to be in move-in ready condition. One of the things that I suppose was overlooked was that there was no gas in the tank to heat the house/water (yes, it is heated by a tank). So not necessarily move-in condition, and something I suppose we should have asked more about...not that we did not know that that was the heating situation, but you would figure they might just leave a smidge to keep you going. So it was actually colder in the house than it was outside...and after a bit of finagling by our agent she managed to get us an appointment with the company between “ocho y ocho” today - so not particularly convenient, and especially not convenient when they didn’t even show up. Combine this with some frustrations with getting a bank account, getting internet in the house, language, etc. etc., today was a bit of a low ebb on the journey thus far. I think the biggest frustration was the excitment Steph and I both felt in getting our lives established here and moving into our house...and then being told “whoa whoa whoa”. Every move can be frustrating, but this one is a bit different. We are not only managing ourselves, but Zoe and Maelle, and trying to introduce them to a place and culture, and a nanny who speaks mainly Spanish (today was her first day on the job, and she is very good, just a lot to process), and also dealing with those little nuances in culture that we were not necessarily prepared for...when I sat down to write this I also realized that we have on the road for some time in a way. We moved out of our Vancouver house over a month ago, and then spent time between our rental in Vancouver and in Whistler, and now our rental apartment here. So it’s been a while living out of a suitcase, and now we are moving into a house with our suitcases and rental furniture, and the shipment with the rest of our stuff only gets here on October 6th...
So it seems like that frustration stage perhaps set in a bit today. And I forget sometimes that we have chosen to make a huuuuge change, and that there would be adjustment...and maybe also forget that three months ago when we first found out about this opportunity (crisitunity?) that there were setbacks, or roadblocks maybe is the better term, and we worked our way past them...and we will work our way past these too. It is sometimes difficult in that moment, and then you start to work your way through the problem, or problems. (as an aside, I’m not even sure how I managed to go grocery shopping with the girls solo today, given my state of anxiety and being, but I did...when Maelle started shaking a pack of blueberries all over the floor, that was almost it...and you know that’s almost it when you try to start rationally reasoning with your 18 month old, instead of just grabbing the package out of her hands).
So this too shall pass...and we will get the house set up, and it will be great, it just may take some time. As many an expat has told Steph, ”start adjusting your expectations”. And so I guess we will have to start doing that...and so guess means a few more days in this apartment before we can move into our house, and mind you, it’ll be getting much warmer soon anyway, we probably won’t even need heating...right?
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