You know the way we walk past the landlord with a spring in our feet, nose turned up in the air when we’ve paid rent before the 5th day of the month just to remind him or her that the oxygen he or she breathes is not purer than yours? That was me for the first two weeks after I moved to a new country. I was drunk and high on Wi-Fi. I ate Wi-Fi, drank Wi-Fi, swam in Wi-Fi. Even my face shone with the glory of it. Okay, my face still is shining currently but now it is more out of Vaseline than it is of Wi-Fi.
One thing however, I never imagined I’d have a problem with while here is the food. Why would I not like the food when in the movies and novels the sandwiches look yummier than the bread of life itself? And the foods have sexy names even! Names like lasagna, broccoli, burrito, etc. So, really, despite my lack of experience with the fork and knife, my stomach was not going to fail to produce hydrochloric in this country. After all that we had been through on the plane? Including eating chicken that tasted like a penguin from Madagascar, how was I not going to like the food here?
Much as I’d like to say that my African stomach suffers no fool, there are foods that look tasty on television and even better in real life, but my stomach still refuses to agree with them. In fact, first few weeks I had to cook for myself so that the food tasted something close to what I was used to for the past 21 years of my life. I am slowly accepting the fact that; there always is a taste your tongue is used to. One thing though, McDonald’s, their food is awesome. You see the way their sandwiches look good on the photos, they look even better in real life. The top surface is smooth…really smooth. I’d like to compare it to a baby’s butt, but this is food we’re talking about. The less graphic I can get, the better for everyone.
On most days, I am not sure if I am even crossing the roads here properly because they are different anyways. And I have to constantly remind myself that they drive on the right side of the road, unlike what I was used to back home. And the cold here, it definitely is the mother of Satan. It has no shame opening its knees. When I first felt it on my face then in my bones, it reminded me of the way people lie to us that there is no studying in campus, but we get there, we spend the four or five years wearing our asses out with books. And then some.
Here is the summary of what I am saying. When you get to a new place, there is nothing you want more than to settle in and life to go on as usual. You want people to stop asking you what you think of the place? You want them to stop asking you how you are holding up. Because a good number of times, change turns out to happen much slower than you’d like. And I cannot start to tell us about the number of times I get frustrated with myself over that.
See, we like to think that fear dies at a certain age. That adulthood is supposed to come with the much-coveted jacket of fearlessness. Only that, fear is real and change hurts sometimes. That is why on some days when I feel like there is so much to learn and adjusting to do, I remind myself that nobody is ever fully prepared for change. And that, at any particular moment, every other person we see out there is going through a change in a certain aspect of their life. So, you are never alone. Embrace change, whatever it is. Stay open to new things and experiences, as long as you do not compromise on your core values. One day you will wake up and realize you finally adjusted well to your new situation.
And, happy valentines to you all. Seriously, my heart beats for you. (Lame, but true) Not that it matters, but roses are still red.