Saturday, August 6, 2011
So much thinking
One of the things I love about living in another country is how the vulnerability of not speaking the language or knowing the culture or being literate in the city makes you hyperaware. I feel, like I did when I was a student in Copenhagen two years ago, that my whole brain chemistry just... alters slightly, to compensate for all the strangeness and the trying to blend in.
Not everything is different. Yesterday, the head of DIS threw a great barbecue for the interns at his house in the near 'burbs, and while we did indeed bike there (okay, that would never happen in America), the mosquitos outside on a muggy August evening were just the same as back home, and my incessant worrying about West Nile was identical to my summer fears at home.
Being in Europe, however, makes me a newly minted snob about a lot of things that would occur neither to Americans at home nor natives here. For instance, I refuse to ask for directions. It is a TEST OF FIRE to see if I can find my way to obscure apartments in Vesterbro, wheras in America I constantly ask for directions. A better example is bread. I refuse to buy store-bought, factory-baked, pre-sliced bread in a grocery shop when there are bakeries every two blocks. I just flat out refuse. Unfortunately, bakeries have shorter hours than grocery stores and I work full time and also everything goes stale in about two days. I impulsively bought a whole loaf of something called Mueslibrod, which turned into a rockhard, Einstein's Powerbagel-esque situation. I still ate it when I came home tonight, because I spent like six dollars on that damn loaf.
Because everything is so expensive. I cannot stress this enough. But I also should stop whinging about it, since I'm 22 and living abroad and have a kickass job with an end date to keep the whole year from feeling soulless or tired.