Monday, March 25, 2013

The Learning Curve

It's been a month since Sina and I touched down in Melbourne. And in retrospect, adventure seems an understatement when I start itemizing everything I've experienced.

There were the obvious things like weather at first. And walking everywhere. But there was a lot more than that. I learned that I had underpacked woefully. I learned that things that seemed as if they should be straightforward could take weeks to resolve - like finding a rental property in our budget and in a decent neighbourhood.

I learned that I had never fully appreciated having a vehicle in the past when we became totally dependent on transit to travel the city and outfit a home. This was particularly educational as Sina and I traveled across the city to buy shelving which we then had to tote home on a bus, a train, and another bus as well as any other shopping we'd acquired. Later Trevor and I carried a television home on the train and bus to bystander's incredulous grins. We actually contemplated doing the same with a microwave but decided it could wait. It's all a little surreal to realize that some people have been doing this all their lives.

I had forgotten how important warmth, a real bed and a hot shower are in helping a person feel a sense of wellness. It took 6 days to get the gas hooked up so we could shower. Likewise that long to be able to cook a meal on our gas stove. We ran out of time on moving day to get enough bedding to stay warm and had to wait until Monday and a bus ride to a nearby shopping center to purchase quilts. Parts were out of stock for our bed frame and we had to wait several days before we could stop sleeping on the floor. Sina is still sleeping on the floor on cushions from the couches until we can make arrangements to have a bed delivered for her. Hopefully that will be soon. I doubt I will ever look at my bed the same way again.

Today as I vacuumed the house for the first time since we moved in with the vacuum cleaner I carried home on the bus, I had an idiotic grin on my face at the sheer delight of a clean floor and being able to suck up the spiders. This experience is reminding me every day just how transient our well being is. It takes so little to push us out of our comfortable zone of entitlement. I am feeling suitably chastised, believe me. My first desperate cold shower (after having attempted a bath in water heated repeatedly via electric kettle) nearly made me throw my back out when the first shot of icy water hit my back. So the first warm shower was absolutely delicious. 

I'm learning to take delight in small things like spotting Aussie tv celebs at the market, finding a solution to warming Scentsy bars without a plug in warmer, navigating a completely unknown neighbourhood successfully with a trusty map, experiencing my first buffet of "light refreshments" according to new Polynesian friends, and listening to a pair of special needs adults on the train having a chat while one of them is talking into a voice recognition device simultaneously and enjoying himself. I still can't help grinning when walking outside in a t-shirt and shorts in March, listening to the birds and smelling the flowers that are still blooming. Each time I hear someone say,"no worries," with complete and total sincerity, I am grateful I get to experience all of this. 

Am I homesick? Not really. Am I out of my depth? Most definitely. But I'm still having the time of my life stumbling through my continued adaptation to this new world. Every day brings a new list of things I need to tackle. And I'm doing it. It's not always pretty. There have been some tears but more laughter than anything. I couldn't do it alone, though. We were fortunate to find an amazing ward and to have chosen the best companions possible for our move. Pretty awesome all round.  

This week Trevor will travel to Townsville leaving Sina and I to battle on solo for a few days. We're going to tackle some baking challenges and christen the oven and bakeware with gusto. Should be most entertaining. And that's what this is all about - figuring out how to be who we are in a completely new frame of reference. 



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