Back in, say, February, (or maybe March), I looked at one of my classmates and said this sentence:
‘I swear that I used to be a functioning adult. Seriously, they even let me be in charge of people at work. What happened?’
What happened? Like the Lady with the cockney accent so aptly put as she took in the spectacle of bags, car seats, strollers and children during our layover in London, ‘So you immigratin’?’
What happens when you immigrate? Well here are some fun things that we experienced since January that represent ‘immigratin‘ to us.
- You try to go to the bank during your lunch break to set up your bank account to find out it’s closed from 12-2.
- You try to go to the Home Depot size hardware store to pick up lightbulbs on your next lunch break. Also, closed.
- You try to to the thrift store on Wednesday morning (your day off) to look for I-don’t-even-remember what. Closed.
- You try to go eat dinner out at 5:30 with your kids to find that the Restaurant opens at 6:30 (or 7:00 or 7:30.)
- You try to do a wire transfer to pay your school bill online instead of writing a check, but your French bank needs you to have a french phone number.
- You finally get the bank account set-up, to get the internet and phone that you need, to set up the wire on your bank account. In order to complete this step online, the bank now needs to send you a formal letter. You write another check and give up on doing things electronically.
- The frozen bag of chicken has two words on it. One of them is definitely ‘chicken’, but you aren’t sure what that other word is, and are now appalled by your internet search history. If only the package hadn’t been opaque…
- You try to go skiing for the first time...
- You let your friend’s American Express card get sucked into the toll booth machine, because they offered to pay for tolls, and you didn’t know the machine wouldn’t take their card, but instead would eat it.
- You send in your car insurance paperwork 3 times before it’s right.
- You send in your car registration paperwork 3 times before it’s right.
- You send in your drivers license paperwork, wondering if you’ll be legit before 2016, and pray you have enough french to defend the photocopies the lady at the counter said is all we need if we get pulled over.
- You try to go eat dinner at IKEA. The cafe closed at 2:30. You wonder when you are going to learn.
- The next month, you call a restaurant who appears to be open at 5:30 for dinner. They are confused as to why you would call, because, ‘of course’, THEY are open all day.
- You learn to add 35% to google travel time near any type of Holiday weekend, the hard way.
- You get anxiety when trying to order anything through the McDonald’s window, and are ALWAYS asked to pull forward to explain your order to the one English speaker in the building. You forget that you couldn’t understand them in the states either…
- You jump for joy when you are able to do something like help an elderly lady work her Iphone at the street corner. ‘Iphones! I know how to work those!’ I’ve DONE something. You forget that your four year-old also knows how to work an Iphone, so this is not that great an accomplishment.
- Your phone bill comes in and your last name is ‘BLOCK’ instead of “Brock’. You find out to fix this you are going to have to write a letter to the company. You decide to live with your new name for a couple more months…
- Your oven has numbers on it instead of temperatures. By April, you figure out that chicken bakes on ‘7’ and fries at ’10’.
- You learn that your gas stove is run by a propane tank in your basement. While you are in the middle of cooking dinner.
- You try to order take out Moroccan food from the restaurant up the road, but not having brought your own pans to take the food home, you leave empty handed.
- And there’s that one day, when you just forgot to rinse the conditioner out of your hair for no apparent reason.
So, be kind to your immigrant friends, they are confused, and probably trying very hard to get along. They might have even been a functioning adult in their old stomping ground. 🙂
Anyway, please take this post as my apology for not have written the past few months. In truth, the Lord has been gracious to us, and we have been able to operate fairly well these last few months. We’ve got some big transitions ahead, and I’ll write about those next, as Language school is coming to an end, but we appreciate your prayers and support.