Sunday, August 7, 2011

tropical depression

i've been doing a lot of thinking about how this trip has been a good trial run for moving to a faraway city, like new york. no, this definitely isn't my new york, in so many ways. it's just different enough from home that i have no idea exactly what to expect from any given situation. i can hazard a guess, but sometimes my expectations are nowhere close to what actually happens. let me recount for you the craziness that has occurred thus far on this trip, in chronological order.

-sun goes down at 6:30pm (so no evening exploring alone, it's not safe)
-sun comes up at 5:30am and shines directly in my four 10' glass doors
-no internet or phone, for several days
-working longer hours than usual
-one day and night of no a/c, no fan (and i thought it was a fluke)
-mosquito invasion (due to leaving windows open)
-unexplained rash on my neck and jaw
-nanny kid was completely unmanageable for both mom and me (two weeks)
-ant invasion (including my bed, and three bites)
-broke a pair of sunglasses
-cut off part of fingernail while shaving
-four days and nights of no a/c, no fan
-jellyfish sting
-bad sunburn on my legs
-respiratory issues (unproductive cough, sore throat) and general fatigue
-realizing that several of my sick symptoms fit with dengue fever, hurray!
-three days and nights of heavy wind and rain, and a hyperactive toddler
-two days and nights of no a/c, no fan

so yes. i am on a lovely tropical island. just lovely. i'm glad you're enjoying my photos (on facebook) and living vicariously through me. honestly, though, i know i'm being a crank, and possibly a little melodramatic. believe me, by the time i got to potential dengue fever (fairly sure i'm in the clear), i was actually starting to laugh at myself and wonder just what would go wrong next. my laughter might have looked a little unhinged to the average spectator though...

another thing i've been considering is just how "cut off" i feel here. it's exciting, and a fun opportunity, but leaving behind all of my friends and family, my loft and my daily routines, my comfort in general... to say the least, it's given me a renewed appreciation for those things. those several days i went without steady, reliable internet access weren't so bad, but when i briefly HAD internet in my flat, got ready to connect, and promptly lost it, well... i lost it. i got really upset. all i wanted to do was see familiar faces and hear familiar voices (via skype), and i couldn't. it seems stupid when you take it out of context, but it's how i felt.

folks, my love language is quality time. i want the one-on-one with people i love, and i'm getting very little of it. perhaps a lot of the fault is mine. i guess i expected people back home to reach out, or at the very least to respond when i reach out. it seems like it's a case of "out of sight, out of mind." to make matter more difficult, i don't make friends easily, and it seems incredibly weird to just walk up to a stranger and say, "hi, i'm new here." also, most people i come in contact with are only here for a week at most and aren't interested in forming any kind of even casual acquaintance. they brought their friends, they'll hang with their friends, and then leave with their friends. it leaves me pretty bummed.

we decided earlier this week to extend our stay here, previously ending on september 1st, to september 12th. that means six more weeks than i'd originally planned, bringing in the grand total to thirteen weeks on-island. my employer actually got her contract renewed until december, but both of us decided that it would be too much. i am hoping, in the next couple of weeks, that i'll acclimate better, or something. i've found a lot of activities i can do solo -- it's just a matter of finding the time and fitting them into my work schedule somehow. i'm hoping, by writing all of this down, i will put it all behind me and start feeling better about my time here. things seem to be taking a turn for the better, as far as incidents go, and i'm learning to be positive, though tenuously.

so, if this is a trial for a future move to new york (or wherever it is i end up)... i'm not doing too well. and God forbid i break that second pair of sunglasses, or there might be tears.

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