Tuesday, August 02, 2016

The Firehose

These are the firehose days, where new information comes blasting at me from every direction and nearly all the time.  There is the formal dissemination of information - today was the middle school orientation, tomorrow will be the security briefing and the health orientation at the consulate, and Friday will be the elementary school orientation.  And surrounding those blasts of information, the new city gives its novice no rest.  Its also time to figure out how the meter works on the rickshaw, how to cross the street, how to cross that next and busier street, and which outlet I can plug the tea kettle into.  Its exhilarating and all of the information has been good so far - with the exception of the outlets, which are insane - but its also physically and mentally exhausting.  I'm still falling asleep at 8pm, and I think jetlag is only partly to blame.  And although the big things don't make me fall apart, the little things sometimes do.

Yesterday was exciting.  Lilly, Annika, and I went for an excursion - the first time I left the house without Dave leading me.  We found the route to the import grocery and we walked it without hurting ourselves.  Even further, we enjoyed the walk with its views of the sea and the nearby fish stalls, and with all of the interesting and charming things tucked into the nooks and crannies of this city.  We enjoyed our destination, although it was not what we expected.  And when we left, I felt a bit overwhelmed.

We grabbed our bags and walked out into pouring rain.  We walked up to a row of rickshaws, and they all drove away.  We stood in the driving rain amid the hectic traffic and tried to hail a new rickshaw.  One came fairly soon, and we managed to pile ourselves into the back without losing any bags or staying dry.

With the knowledge the rickshaw drivers will take advantage of newbies, I pulled out my phone and mapped the route home.  We followed the little blue dot along the roads and we followed the meter in the rickshaw - would this cost 30 cents, 3 USD, or 30 USD?

We arrived home and I collapsed on the couch ready to read something for a bit and leave the city outside.  This is when I learned that our housekeeper - who is a real blessing, truly - had washed a large load of clothes that would not go in the dryer.  Problem: we had nowhere to hang those clothes and we are in the monsoon. 

And that's what made me cry.  The challenges of the day I could handle, and even enjoy.  But the lack of control over my laundry, and how and when it was done brought my frustration over the boiling point.

After a good cry, Sophia and I donned our rain coats and raced through the rains to the local market for a laundry drying rack, which I carried over my head as an umbrella on the way home.  Overall a positive excursion, and now all of my gentle clothes are dry.  Wins all around. 

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