Some changes are obvious…like I live in a foreign country and speak a different language. I’m the only natural blonde woman for a hundred miles. And I’m considered tall for the first time in my life!
Other subtle changes:
- I’m a hoarder. Yep, that’s right. When I see something at the store that I want, I never trust it’ll be there tomorrow. And that’s why I have over 10 jars of Miracle Whip and 4 cans of cranberry sauce in my pantry.
- I stare at people’s mouths when they speak. Don’t let this intimidate you! But as I learn a third language, I’m always trying to decipher where the sounds are coming from…and so, I observe teeth, tongue and lip movements! You’d be amazed how many different sounds can come out of a mouth when the lips don’t even move!
- I always have a flashlight or candle and lighter within reach. Where we live, the electricity could go out at any minute, day or night. It’s not fun to be stranded, barefoot, and surrounded by Legos.
- I never go barefoot. In the States, I always walked around barefoot—in doors and out! I even ran to the mailbox in the snow without shoes. But not here! The risk of stepping on bugs (tarantulas, millipedes, etc) is just not worth it. And then of course, the old wives’ tales teach that if you go barefoot you’ll catch a cold…and it’s just not worth the argument.
- I relate a little too well to Laura Ingalls Wilder and Dr. Quinn. I’ve learned to bake bread, including hot dog buns, out of necessity. I use my ever-improving sewing skills to make curtains and little girl dresses or repair holey pants. And we often have to rely on our own medical know-how to diagnose the latest illness.