Thursday, January 24, 2008


I've been feeling minor pangs of homesickness lately. Mostly it's just small, silly things that have been leaving me a little frustrated the past few days. For example a few nights ago when I was trying to make a sauce from a powder packet that just wouldn't mix (I wound up having to strain the lumps of powder crap that refused to dissolve), making me very much miss my trusted shells-and-white-cheddar packets I used to use a lot in the US. Guessing at what exactly the directions on the risotto box say, b/c Zach and I only mostly understand them. Or guestimating the amount of butter needed for this or that, b/c I'm too lazy to measure out tablespoons of stick butter, and the sticks here don't have the measurements printed on the wrapper like they do in the US.

When Zach and I have talked lately about how much longer we want to stay here, I've been hesitant to really say much one way or another b/c I think that once Loki's around it will impact my feelings about it. Will I want to stay here and raise this child in this gorgeous environment, where we get to walk past cows and sheep on daily walks if we wanted to, and go on incredible family vacations throughout Europe? Or will the small frustrations and annoyances of language barriers, cost, separation from family, etc get to be too much and make me long more for the ease of back home?

The frustration I feel right now is probably just a temporary funk, possibly hormone-induced. Though the questions above are real ones that I've been aware of for a while, and that I know will need to be answered eventually. I guess we'll just wait and see.

My due date's only 11 days away... and Mom gets here in a week! These visits tend to have a way of sneaking up on me... It'll be nice to have her around, she's been so incredibly excited about me being pregnant and all the baby stuff. =) At the same time this also means that this is the last week (at the most) that Zach and I will have alone together for a long time. That's so weird to think about.


  1. 11 days! wow, time seems like it's flown by!

  2. I know exactly how you feel. I was so annoyed with London my first six months there (and that's with NO language barrier!) and right when we finally settled in after a year, it was time to go. I think it was the right decision, but I wish we'd been there long enough after Ellie was born to really either long for the US and yearn to come home or decide that London was an excellent place to raise a child (the answer is probably a little of both, however). I will say that some of my expat friends there REALLY want to come home after having had given birth. I can't wait to hear what you guys decide!

  3. It sounds like while you are in a funk you also have a good handle on your emotions. You're right that you are probably questioning a lot and feeling pressure since there are only 11 days left. I think asking yourself questions and contemplating and reflecting is all very wise. You'll figure it out. Pretty soon you'll have nothing to think about except Loki!

    I love living Europe and I have learned over time (5 years now) how to make and find the things I love from home here. I still have my mom send me bags of reese's peanut butter cups and Vermont maple syrup but I bought a scale at IKEA and learned how to calculate the equivalents in recipes so I could make things like cheesecake here in France. I like the challenge of figuring out how to bring what I miss from here either by discovering something similar or making it myself or replacing it! But then again, I've never been much of a homebody - opting for traveling the world then staying at home. I feel homesick for my family, I wish I could just go visit them for an afternoon - pop on over and say "hi" but its not possible. Although webcams have really helped us. Felix talks with his grandparents once a week with the webcam!

    I do know that we couldn't have the same life in the states as we have here. Felix goes to an excellent and affordable daycare, there is the market down the road, public transportation, and social security. My husband is a musician and neither one of us would be covered in the states!

  4. I can't remember, how long have you been there?

    There's a cycle most expats follow - at first everything is exciting and new and wonderful. Then the homesickness funk sets in and all the frustrations - kind find the right products, don't know what store to go to, can't communicate properly (even if you do speak the language, there are cultural norms that take awhile to learn), don't have the same friendships, etc.

    Then, most people, if they stick it out and *want* to be there, get past that and learn to adapt to the new country as home.

    How long each cycle takes varies substantially from person to person, and a lot of people don't get past the 2nd cycle because they don't *really* want to be there. Which is ok :)

    For me, I always had trouble going back to the US after being overseas for some time. I'd finally get into the 3rd phase, then go back to the US and be hit with culture shock and feel like I didn't belong. The first time I returned to Thailand after going back to the US for a few months, I felt like I had 'come home' when I arrived in Bangkok. It was an odd, but neat feeling.

    It will no doubt be more of a challenge with a baby and being away from family (altho we're in the US and live nowhere near my family), but having a baby will also open up many doors for you, and you're likely to make friends with many other moms, which might make it all easier.

  5. that should say "can't" find the right products.

    btw - we have all sorts of conversion tables in our kitchen. DH lives by them and he also brought some of his Swiss measuring stuff so I need them too! We have a mix of cookbooks from the US, UK, Thailand and Switzerland, so this is a regular issue for us.



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