Now it's all positive again, but I honestly just had a bad week. A bit of the expat blues. I want to share now while it's still fresh in my memory and before I begin other blog entries that I've had planned.
I can laugh as I look back at it now, but I was hit with a migraine headache and a whole bunch of the gloomies just seemed to come along with it. Those why-am-I-over-here gloomies. Seemed almost as if I was falling back into that culture shock-phase. I am grateful that is not quite the case! The top of the list was how I didn't like my home, living in my twee onder één kap woning [English: two homes under one roof], quite common here in the Netherlands. With the migraine in full attack-mode, I would wince each time the neighbors closed their doors and walked about on their hardwood floors.
Of course, I also got extremely bored. With that, I got irritated with Dutch TV. Even though my eyes hurt sometimes to watch TV, I needed entertainment. I became irritated by hearing Dutch on the TV, so I grumbled and turned the channel quickly to the Discovery Channel. Automatically became happier by hearing English, and it didn't matter to me what was on. Even if it was another re-run of one of my favorite shows, Mythbusters, where they test if vodka can hide the smell left behind on clothes from cigarette smoke.
Maybe too I felt the way I did while laying down because I have been dwelling so much on my trip back to America on my blog and still not completed with editing photos? Not that it's a bad thing to do, of course. Great memories are involved in those photos! And I am going back again to America this year, so I have not much to worry about. I also have so much that I still want to share from the last trip, and I will eventually, but spread apart.
Overall, a plus side which came at end this week, the lows were not only a short-lived thing, but they also encouraged me to find more of the positives. Because sometimes in order to appreciate the sunny days, there must also be those cloudy days. For starters, there is a lot on the horizon for me in 2010.
Going Dutch: I've begun more Dutch language classes, as I decided it would be a major help for myself since I still sometimes struggle with comfort in communication. Even though I can understand a lot of what is being said to me in public, I may freeze up. Plus the classes will help keep me out and about more often than I am already out. I am already constantly busy, but this will bring a wealth of good. This will be my third Dutch language course and I will be learning more about Dutch grammar and sentence-building.
More positive: I also dreamed last night in Dutch! This doesn't happen always. I dreamt that it was a sunny Dutch spring day, so I rode my bicycle to a fictitious nearby supermarket. Normal, yes, but the confidence I felt was wonderful due to me communicating with everyone in Dutch. In the dream, the shopkeeper recognized me. They were so friendly and greeted me. They followed me around for a little while I shopped and talked to me. One thing which stood out the most and was hilarious to me was how they carried around with them a Frank the Tele2 black sheep coffee mug full of coffee. A mug which I wouldn't see in America.
Another positive comes actually from that last trip to America: I realized some things during my visit. It's quite complex to explain in one breath, but I had a feeling that I have learned more living abroad about life in general than I would've living in a cozy suburban home with a 9-to-5 job. I'll talk about this all and more in an upcoming blog entry.
For the readers, what are your big plans for this year? And especially for the expat readers, what do you do to help cheer yourself up when you begin to feel the expat blues? Do you ever dream in Dutch [or the language of the land where you are currently living abroad]?
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