When we lived in the US, Rosalyn’s bottle preparation was simple. 5 ounces of water, 2.5 scoops of formula. In Japan, for nearly the same amount of water, you add a whopping 8 scoops of formula.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the perfect illustration of what it’s like to live in a foreign country: 5.5 new steps for every. single. thing. you. do.
While “triumph” as the title for today’s post might seem like an exaggeration, I guarantee you that the feeling I have when able to accomplish simple things is nothing short of triumph.
-Getting a cell phone. We went to two places and were turned down for cell phone contracts because of the length of our visa, although I can name 4 other families of the same visa status who have the same plan we applied for. Recollecting my confidence and disappointed motivation, we went to another shop a few days later and got hooked up with a contract! It only took about an hour and a half.
But later that night came the real fun: trying to set up our email account through the company in order to use sms. 2.5 hours excruciating hours later (in which I went into the “zone”– a place where I shut out all other distractions and Vicente knows not to bother joking with me). It was the Lord who helped me through that!
-Registering at City Hall. 2 hours. 4 windows. Soooo many forms to fill out.
-Internet and Wifi. PRAISE THE LORD– He seriously helped me out on this one. Setting up both of them, I made simple mistakes. But in both cases, the Lord led me through random steps to figure out how to make it work, just as I began to think I wouldn’t be able to do it by myself.
There were cheers of triumph in our apartment a couple days after we had moved in when we figured out that our tiny 2 burner stove top needed a battery in order to keep lit. Anything to do with gas lines scare the bajeebers out of me, but when we were finally able to light our stove and keep it lit to cook, we cheered. Randomly. Several times. In fact, I still cheer randomly.
But anyway. I won’t bore you with long lists of what we’ve had to do. Though it took you maybe just a few seconds to read it, none of these were as simple as the 2.5 scoops of formula or the 15-30 minutes it may take you to accomplish at home. They involved many extra steps, many challenges, times where I’ve pulled out my ipod to use a translation tool and asked the person on the other side of the counter to type in the word for me. I’ve received many papers in receipt of my transactions with information that I’m sure is pertinent, but I can’t read at the moment. They’re sitting in stacks and when I have questions, I pull them out and go into the zone to attempt comprehension.
Sometimes, sometimes, maybe 8 times later, there are cheers of triumph.