The bakery crew arrive early, maybe five in the morning.  We can hear them right below our window while drifting in and out of sleep.  Despite having been here a week now, we have not adjusted well to the time difference.  It is difficult to go to bed before the wee hours, difficult to wake up again before noon.

My computer is still set to the time back home, a constant source of confusion.  How can I possibly be making dinner when it is just mid-day for everyone I know?  I don't want to change it, though; seems like it'd be changing too much at this point.

Something about moving to another country makes it difficult to keep up a healthy appetite.  I don't feel hungry; we certainly eat much less.  We go to the grocery store and things look different, taste different.  I have taken so much for granted: the ability to read the labels on my food, to know where it was grown or how it was processed, to feel safe eating it.  We have a hot plate only, and a refrigerator that can hold four, maybe five things at a time.

At home we are raised with an independence many people lack here, having to rely on public transportation.  It is difficult to navigate the bus routes and train schedules and times and destinations.  Maps make very little sense: a foreign language depicting foreign terrain.

It is strange to leave the apartment without a phone.  To wander the streets and not know a single person or the time of day.

We are still searching for things: an apartment for when the month runs out, furniture, a stroller, a television to entertain the kiddo while I work, phones, and all the little things you no longer own.  It is strange to live without the familiarity of common everyday items.

They play American music in the bakery throughout the day, and it makes me miss home.


  1. NYC has the lack of independence - you rely entirely on the subway, buses or cabs, all which require you to plan when you will leave and how long it will get there.

    Being without a phone would be an intense adjustment. Does anyone have cell phones over there?

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  3. portland was the same with buses and trains. google maps was how i navigated it. i rather enjoyed the public transportation and not having a car though, since city driving is so stressful for me.

    i really think you should change the time on your computer though.

    be where you are. be present.

  4. It's a weird adjustment to public transportation, isn't it? I've heard it's really only like that in NYC, Portland, Chicago, and a few other places in the states. I'm sure I'll get over it - but I have irrational fears about it. Fortunately, it's much cleaner here than in Paris. Their pt was disgusting.

  5. DC is also very "public transportation" oriented. I fell in love with that but I was always on a trip and never had to live with it daily. What a challenge! Foreign maps? Foreign terrain? Yikes? It is hard enough finding a decent meal on the road in the US. Probably, by the time you come back, you will have thoroughly adjusted and will hate returning to "independence".

    Thanks for sharing this with us!

  6. I has to get used to the metro in Moscow and that wa rough. I am definitely guilty of leaving the time on my computer to the home time...but you're right, quite confusing.

  7. oh sweet,sweet friend. I am so sorry, I cant even imagine what you are going thru. Ive been out if the country 2 times, once in mMexico in a BAD HURRICANE and it was hell!
    things will get better, you 3 have each other and friends here to pray and encourage you to hang in there.
    Again, I am sooo sorry.
    People really dont realize how lucky we are to live in America and it makes me mad to hear people say America sucks, I read a book called "Inside the Kingdom" written by bin ladens ex sister in law and it really made me think as women how lucky we are. I think every woman should read that book.


( hippies always welcome )