I’ve been in a funk. I got sick almost immediately after we returned from Rome, and the head cold has been lingering. YOU’RE NOT WELCOME HERE. (It doesn’t care.) Anyway, I figured the “culture shock” phase would kick in eventually, and I’d cope poorly by holing up for a while. I guess it took getting sick to initiate the “hole-up” phase, but initiate it did.
When I’m sick, I just want home. I want my people. I want familiar. When I’m sick, I get sort of petulant and unwilling to deal with…I dunno, anything. I felt that hard this past week and a half. I wanted MY bed and MY tea and MY Will. And I didn’t want to WALK to the store. And I didn’t want to SHOP for groceries. I longed for a freaky fast delivery and a good nights sleep at home. So, things got kind of sucky for a while.
While holed up, I’ve been watching a lot of Friends, and a few days ago I watched the episode where the gang goes to London for Ross’ wedding. Joey is having great time, until he talks to Phoebe and she tells him she ordered the “Joey Special” (two pizzas). He gets jealous about the pizza and depressed that he’s not home. Then he turns on the TV and Cheers is on, playing the famous intro music “where everybody knows your name.” Of course, that made him more depressed and ready to go home.
It occurred to me that part of culture shock is being away from things familiar. It’s not that there’s something shocking about the new culture–though sometimes that’s true. But not being surrounded by familiar people and places takes a toll. The default settings no longer apply because too many things are new. And all that newness is exciting and fun–until it becomes exhausting. I realized that, like Joey, I just wanted to order a pizza and be around people who knew my name (well, people know my name here but you know what I mean).
I’m almost past my head cold, I’ve been back at the gym this week, and I had a lovely dinner with my coworkers last night at Cafe Riis–I think another food post is coming. So, I’m feeling more myself, less funk-y, and I’m back to dancing in my living room while I make dinner. I’m also planning some trips and I’m back to appreciating Norway and this wonderful opportunity. More good things to come!