Monday, August 24, 2009

The Three Month Point--I want out

"We have a car--we can drive all the way to Mexico and we'd be fine. We speak Spanish."

This is what I said to Paul--on break from his 4 hour licensure class. You know when you'd rather live illegally in Mexico that you don't want to be where you are.

It's not Memphis per se, although I've never met so many rude people in my whole life in any other place. It's...well...America. I miss Spain.

Sorry. Call me unpatriotic if you will (actually, please don't. I know there are good things about America--I'm just going through the normal process of cultural adjustment so cut me some slack). I'm just at the three month point and all of the things that I don't like about living here are surfacing.

My current big beef:

The American work schedule/pace. Hardly any vacation and ridiculous obsession with your life revolving around your job. Why do we earn big paychecks? So we can work more? I was happier when Paul and I thanked God for another 20 euros that would buy us food for the next 3 or 4 days. I would trade our big apartment, our car, and our paychecks for that again, and for being able to see each other before 9 or 10 p.m (seriously, on our current schedule we won't see each other til 9 or 10 Mon-Wed).

We were happy in Spain.

I miss good, fresh food that didn't have things injected in it to make it last longer so it could be mass produced. Are we any healthier or better off for all the mass produced non-fresh junk that's EVERYWHERE? Seriously people, can we just eat good food???????!!!!!

I miss actually having time to get together with people during the week, and not having to make plans weeks in advance.

I miss trying to make inroads in relationships with the women on my street, little daily conversations in Spanish about how the baby's growing, the weather, etc. I miss neighbors that actually talked to each other.

I miss being in a mixed bag racially and no one caring.

I miss being able to walk or take public transportation everywhere I needed to be. I'm like the cute different one at work just because I bike. And everywhere else needs a car. So more time has to be carved out of the day for exercise because we don't get it naturally. No matter how much I work out at home, I feel like a skin covered blob. I feel like all I want in the world right now is to walk out my door and go somewhere on my own two feet without the fear of there not being a sidewalk or of getting shot.

I don't want to be here.

You get to a certain point in cultural adjustment (and I guess cultural readjustment) that you don't want to be where you are. In Spain I told newcomers that it was the "I hate Spain" phase and it was to be expected. I guess it's the same here. I don't even necessarily want to go back to Spain (who am I kidding? Yes I do.) I just don't want to be here.

Please don't take offense, friends and family. I know there are lots of good things about living here. I just need to be allowed to go through this.

And, if anyone has a couple spare tickets to Spain, I'd take 'em.