Ex-pat living: Easy things aren’t so easy

In the US, a trip to the salon was easy. Even relaxing.Paying at the grocery store didn’t require any special thought.

A trip to the bakery was something I wouldn’t think twice about. Other than the fact that we didn’t really have a lot of bakeries.

But when you’re an ex-pat, the simple tasks can be difficult. Stressful. Exhausting.

You think about what you need to do. Location. Best time of day. You think about what you need to say to accomplish your task. Will it require everyday talk, or perhaps some special vocabulary you haven’t learned yet? What might the other person say back to you?

And if/when you accomplish what you set out to do, there is definitely a greater sense of accomplishment. An enthusiasm for getting the desired result. And maybe a little bit of pride when you’re able to complete it all without switching to English.

Earlier today, I arrived home from the salon. Mentally drained from a 40-minute conversation with the stylist. Proud that we didn’t once switch to English. And excited that I got the cut that I wanted. It’s a good feeling to be able to do normal things.

Time will make them easier. And the emotional ups and downs will give way to the ‘no big deal’ attitude.

But for now, we’re still excited when we are able to successfully take care of the little things.

Today, the salon. Tomorrow, the world!

3 thoughts on “Ex-pat living: Easy things aren’t so easy”

  1. I totally get this even though I'm not an ex-pat! The worst is when you plan out a conversation and then the other person doesn't follow the script. lol Like when they ask if you want a bag and you definitely thought they were going to ask if you wanted a sack.

  2. Great job on going to the salon and things going smoothly. I didn't have any problems when I went overseas for the most part since I went to places where almost everyone spoke English (London, Paris and Amsterdam). The only time I had a problem was at a bakery in Germany. They didn't speak any English so it was just me pointing at what I wanted in the case and put money on the counter and jet them take whatever they wanted…lol.

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