This has been a tough week. One of those weeks where I find myself thinking often “I can’t wait until we’re home, where life is easier.” A wise friend pointed out that this is what we call culture shock. When the ways of one culture, grind against you like a pebble in your shoe that you just can’t ignore.
Of course it isn’t entirely this place that is to blame for my unsettled feelings. The stress at home has robbed us of sleep, of the ability to exhale, of the feeling of safety and security that we so often take for granted. It has replaced it with hushed conversations, the kids being told too often “just give us a minute!” and fretful phone conversations home at 3:40 in the morning. It is a dynamic situation but I feel like we are doing everything we can to keep it moving towards a conclusion. Friends back home have been nothing short of a God-send, responsive to my manic texts with new instructions of what pawn to move next. Manolo found a consultant online which has been an immense help as well.
I have two hopes for everyone who is reading this blog. My first hope is that you will be inspired by our experience and plan to do something similar with your own family one day. No matter how tough our trials and tribulations are, the joys and growth always outweigh it.
My second hope is that anyone reading this who is already or is thinking of becoming a landlord will call Bill at Eviction Alberta. Had we been lucky enough to have made his acquaintance BEFORE plunging into the world of landlords & tenants, I’m convinced we wouldn’t be in this mess. (That was my public service announcement for the day.)
Anyhow, Tuesday evening started to feel as though perhaps we could regain our faith in humanity. I found a second-hand phone here on Tuti (Swiss Kijiji) and so am back into the world of connectivity. Worried it would feel like a shady back alley exchange with the same criminal who stole my phone, I was so relieved when they turned out to be normal. So much so that as the couple with their sweet little 9month old baby approached me, I blurted out “Oh, thank goodness you don’t look like criminals!” Evidently I’m guilty of a little bit of stereotype profiling. Must work on that…
And so, with my safety blanket now clutched in my right hand once again I decided to set out in search of pretty and test out my new phone’s camera. Ready to see this place once again as a place of beauty and wonder. And really, you don’t have to look far. There truly is beauty here around every corner.
Tomorrow the kids and I hop on a train back to Lugano. It is the start of their 2 week Autumn break. In 1 week my mom & sister arrive. I get downright giddy just thinking about that. So, so, so excited!
So we’ll slip back into tourist mode and the culture shock will fade into the background again for a while.