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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Adventures of a Freshly Expatriated Spiritual Tramp. [20041021|11:38]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
I've updated with a series of entries I wrote while I was without net access. They're assembled here for easy access. They are all public. Even with just a few days' distance from them, I am amazed at how much calmer I am now. Acceptance of my residence in this place is finally sinking in.

Day 1: Arrival, delirium. (short)

Day 2: (Dis)Orientation. (short)

Day 3: Panic, getting lost. (medium)

Day 4: Illness, discontent. (short)

Day 5: Crisis point. (looong)

Day 6: Adaptation begins, attending the theatre. (long)

Day 8: Unwinding. (short)

Day 9: Hanging with the fellow expats. (long)
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: 3g0
2004-10-21 07:13 (UTC)
I empathize with the sentiments of panic and I think you are completely correct about the purpose of working. I think those feelings of panic are similar in many life-changing (particularly lack-of-work) situations and being in a foreign place only magnifies them.

I like the attitude of being in control of your acceptance by people; that is fabulous -- I feel very hopeful that you will find some wonderful people there and make an entirely new world for yourself that features excellent friends.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2004-10-26 12:00 (UTC)
Urgh. How are you doing with the lack-of-work business? I imagine Em can swamp your free time. I bet it's a challenge rescuing it from his little fists. :-P

I hope I can meet some of my LJ friends here soon. That is, if I can ever get caught up with the god-damned laundry and get out of the house. ARGH.
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[User Picture]From: 3g0
2004-10-26 17:44 (UTC)
The short answer on the lack-of-work is that I'm reading a lot of the Tao Te Ching these days and trying to not think about being unemployed. I've been feeling very similar to how you felt about the lab position you interviewed for in the UK. I've been interviewing/applying for jobs that aren't exactly what I want, but it feels tantamountly ignorant and petty to be 'picky' when you're unemployed. I keep having interviews that are ever-so-slightly 'off' and then either they give me awesome praise and say "hang on, we'll hire eventually" or they don't give me the position. I am just really...feeling kind of flattened by the whole thing.

And yes, Emerson does keep me REALLY busy, which is alternately good and bad - I feel guilty/irresponsible about not being able to glue myself to the job search engines and start obsessing over the whole thing. However, it's probably for the best that I haven't been able to. I've also started learning how to crochet/knit; I keep the house clean like it never has been in the years I've been working - the amazing thing is how thoroughly those mundane tasks you didn't have time for before can now fill an entire day until you're exhausted!

From what I've read, I think you are doing SUCH a good job. You are going out alone and with Marco; you are not letting yourself just sink into despair. I think whatever you can find to keep yourself occupied is great, and keep telling yourself to take advantage of and see the good in not working. I think it's all about a change in perspective.
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[User Picture]From: 3g0
2004-10-26 17:48 (UTC)
Oh and PS - If you want, send me your address: abbacat@livejournal.com and I will send you a note!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2004-10-22 13:40 (UTC)
Yes, it is. And I have written you a letter, which I will mail tomorrow, or whenever it is that the post office in this crazy socialist country is open again and I can buy some stamps. Certainly not on Sunday, heaven forbid. :-D
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[User Picture]From: seismic
2004-10-21 17:27 (UTC)
And now I'm all caught up. =)

Despite the moments of crisis, you sound to be acclimating fairly quickly. Huzzah. It sounds wonderful.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2004-10-22 13:46 (UTC)
Well, I don't know. I've been over the big hump, I think, but I suspect that there are other, more subtle humps in my future that I can't see yet. By the way I love that the signs here say "Humps: 300 yards" or whatever instead of "Bumps." It makes them sound less threatening somehow.
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[User Picture]From: t_pot
2004-10-21 17:49 (UTC)
dear Leah,

i read all these updates with much interest. i like the way you observe and describe what happens around you. and i understand you really well. in a few months i'll be relocating in Spain -- in Valencia. now i'm in the phase of figuring out how to transfer there all my stuff (and sometimes i catch myself looking helplessly around the rooms) and in the phase of going to Valencia for a couple of weeks and then back in Italy. i feel the panic, every now and then. i know i will be living with my love. i know we've been lucky and found a decent and quite large apartment. but, as you pointed out, the problem is also making friends there. the only resident friend i have is my girlfriend's brother, who introduced me to a couple of his friends. all very nice, but let's don't forget i have a major obstacle in my way: the language. i don't speak spanish, yet. i can understand it quite well, if the other person doesn't speak too fast (and it seems to me that most goddamn spaniards speak way too fast). and the frustrating thing is that, despite i understand more or less what other people say, i can't answer in a coherent way and this is frustrating. my girlfriend and his brother, luckily, speak english well but they are the only exceptions in their friends' circle...

oh, i'm rambling and i apologize. i just wanted to say that i understand you very much in this moment, and that i fear i will feel, too, a bit lonely for a while after my relocation. anyway, my girlfriend and i want to visit London sooner or later, and it'd be wonderful if we could eventually meet :)

warm hugs!
R
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[User Picture]From: hunterxtc
2004-10-22 00:24 (UTC)

A new face in an old town...

1. Are you "homesick", or are you one of those people who lives by the mantra "wherever I lay my hat, that's my home?"

2. Whenever I have read your posts over the years, I always think to myself that you are a person who loves an adventure, who isn't afraid of a challenge. But I guess I also think that a lot of things that people do as an adventure are on a short term basis- eventually they revert back to the everyday mode of life, an attraction to the familiar. Are you seeing this move as an adventure, or do you see it as a new chapter in your life? (Sue me, I always like to see major changes in my life as "new chapters"...)

3. I have a person on my friends list who is in your neighborhood. Her name is opheliablue and she's quite witty in a London kinda way. She loves the Smiths and Sylvia Plath, so of course I love her. Her LJ is friends only I think, but I will tell her to pop in and look at this post of yours.

4. Here's hoping the adjustment continues to go peachy! (Is peachy Brit-speak, or just another tired American term?)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2004-10-26 11:21 (UTC)
I'm not homesick, no. But I never really considered L.A. my home, either. I don't feel any particular loyalty to any place, since I moved around so much during my formative years. Maybe a little towards Honolulu, since a lot of my family members live there.

For the moment, the move is an adventure. I think maybe once I have a job, I'll settle into more of a routine. I already have a few habits. However, I also don't think that I'm in much danger of taking London for granted any time soon. I have yet to explore Europe, and I want to have conversational fluency in the various languages spoken in other countries. I think it would take years for me to exhaust the possibilities for adventure here.

Thank you for the recommendation, but I'm not looking to add new friends, honestly. I'm contemplating a riends-list purge because I want to reduce the amount of time I spend here.

Nope, I haven't heard anyone use the word "peachy" at all. :-P
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2004-10-26 09:05 (UTC)
I'm kind of afraid to do that. It probably means something else here. Like my "Republicans for Voldemort" t-shirt, which I was firmly cautioned not to wear to any Irish pubs. :-P
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