As I was doing my March/April update, I referred to how much moving to PNG has changed me in such a short time. Who knew that the independent streak that took the first-world 33 years to perfect could be broken by a few months in a third-world country? I’ve mentioned before how I’m completely dependent (just this week there was an actual discussion on whether or not I should go to the grocery store alone…shhh. I did it the first week I was here, just don’t tell anyone!) and I’m also domesticated. I wash and hang my laundry out to dry, pick lemons, plant herbs, can easily spend two days in the kitchen around a holiday and make EVERYTHING from scratch just like a sweet little 1800’s housewife. Or a hipster except I’ll never be that cool. (*EVERYTHING includes but is not limited to: yogurt, sour cream, buttermilk, pastry & pizza crusts, cakes, breads, bagels, crescent rolls, whipped cream, marshmallows, soups, marinades, sauces, dressings, mosquito repellent, etc)
So many times, I literally find myself laughing at the “normal” thoughts that go through my head and the (mostly odd) realizations I’ve had:
America has a smell… and it smells delicious.The other day I pulled on a tank top and the smell caused me to stop in my tracks and take deep, long breaths. I must not have worn it since leaving home because it had a distinct “America” smell which I can only describe as a blend of Tide, fabric softener and freedom.
I now sound uneducated 50% of the time. With the pidgin word for “I” being “mi”, and other relative similarities to a very basic English, I often find myself starting to speak in pidgin out of habit, realizing I’m talking to an American, switching to English and end up saying embarrassing things like “Me go with you” or “Me want to buy this”.
Mice just might be as bad as burglars. They can also make you want to get married. Tonight I opened a drawer where I keep all my teas and drink packets and found shreds where my last 2 packets of American…how dare they?… hot chocolate had been. I instantly got that “who has been in my house?!” somewhat violated feeling. Which was followed by the thought that it might be time to get married. I’ve learned to handle the giant flying roaches and spider monsters by myself but unless they start allowing guns in PNG, I’m not sure I’m ready to tackle mice. Continue reading