Thursday, August 22, 2013

things i've slept on the last ten weeks:

June 8: combination bench/leather couch, last day in my apartment in Pitesti
June 9-June 15: Hannah's top bunk, familia York
June 15-June 20: twin bed in Germany
June 21: plane, bench in a bus station in Istanbul, bus seat
June 22-June 24: twin bed in the guest room of some friends
June 25-29: dorm in Izmir, room 602
June 30-July 14: dorm in Izmir, room 604
July 15: futon in an office
July 16-July 18: my old bed at Alicia's, complete with a soon-to-be-married-lady bedfella
July 19: hotel in Garner with a rollaway bed and a bunch of ants
July 20-July 21: amazingly squishy couch at Arielle's
July 22-July 27: couch older than me at Alicia's
July 28: Elizabeth and Tristan's daybed
July 29-July 30: bed at Momma's
July 31-August 1: couch at Alicia's
August 2-August 8: love seat at Kaila's
August 9-August 10: couch at Alicia's
August 11-August 17: love seat at Kaila's
August 18-present: amazingly comfortable couch at Marli's

That's sixteen places, nineteen if you count the different locations on the travel day, and eighteen different movements. To be continued after the next ten weeks...

Friday, August 16, 2013

getting used to being back

I've said before that stepping back in to life in the States has been mostly uneventful, and while I am still waiting for the difficulty of culture shock-ing in your own culture, for now, a couple observations:

1. It's freezing everywhere. It appears to be a cooler summer than normal (average about 90 so far, I think), but inside every single store and at least half the apartments and homes I've been in, it is arctic. The place I'm staying now keeps it at about 73 or 74 which isn't cold but I've spent all but one of my last seven summers un-air-conditioned. Y'all, I'm still not used to this. It is frigid. The upside is I'm really comfortable at night. Holler.

2. Since when did everyone and their mother either become gluten intolerant or choose to eat gluten-free? It's everywhere. So many restaurants have a gluten-free option. Very interesting.

3. This morning was one of the first times I've spoken Romanian extensively since I left Turkey. I've written plenty emailing back and forth, but it was the weirdest feeling. It's all still there, albeit rusty, but I could feel myself having to sit back and just trust my mouth, that what would come out was right. Almost like I had to step aside and let my brain do what it knows all while having some feeling of uncertainty--I haven't thought in Romanian in exactly a month and there was definitely a gap between what I was thinking and what was coming out of my mouth. I'm not explaining this well at all, but it's almost like, even though I was thinking in English but not translating either, some other part of my brain was making it come out of my mouth in Romanian. As if the process were happening in my mouth instead of my head, trusting some sort of muscle memory or something. Does anybody know what the heck I'm talking about or have you experienced this?

The good news is that after half an hour of talking it won't feel so compartmentalized anymore, but jumping back in was the weirdest sensation.

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Y'all, 2013 has been the suck year. Straight up crazy. It's also been pretty dang wonderful. Let me list to you the reasons...

Suck Year:
--Started having funky heart palpitations. It happened about a hundred times a day for two weeks, then stopped, then started again less frequently and has gone on sporadically since then. Thought I was gonna die for a little bit in there.
--Got squashed when the Mighty Mazda got squashed, got my stomach beat up pretty bad. Seven months later I'm still slightly deformed and don't have complete sensation.
--Getting scanned from head to toe after the wreck the doctors found a cyst on my brain. On my BRAIN. Scary.
--Left all the wonderful people I love in Romania.
--On the way to Turkey my intestines to decided they wanted to be paralyzed or obstructed in some other way so I had terrible pains and couldn't eat for five days.
--Bed bugs.
--Getting bit by what we think was a black widow, I kid you not. I didn't have a severe reaction but it hurt like heck and as we speak it's still spreading and swelling. Heading back to the doctor once more tomorrow.

--There's nothing physically wrong with my heart.
--No symptoms with the cyst which means hopefully and likely that's fine too.
--A perfect, perfect ending to a time in Romania I'm so grateful for.
--My belly started working again with no intervention. Well, lots and lots of prayer helped a lot actually.
--Getting engaged to a pretty amazing guy.
--Marrying him soon!
--Getting to be back a while longer in my beautiful Wilmington.
--Getting to see my girl Nicole in Los Angeles and meet family I've never met and family that's new.
--Lots of other things... this ought to be continued.

The point is that 2013 is not even over yet. Thank you, but you have met your quota in all ways. We can just sit back and be boring from here on out. Much appreciated.

Regards (in the British sense),


Thursday, August 8, 2013


I've been living out of a suitcase since June 9th. And pretty much will be until the end of October. Which pretty much sums up life right about now. Technically, since I'm staying with a friend right now and will probably be for about three weeks altogether, and since I've taken my clothes out of the hiking backpack and put them in a little plastic tub with a lid, I am unpacked. Funny what stability looks like right now.

It's a weird place to be in. It's not just that I'm couch-hopping, and three weeks is the longest I'll be anywhere consecutively in these four months. It's being back in a country that slips back on easily enough, but not quite being anywhere in it, being in a sense I can't put my finger on just yet. 

I'm here in Wilmington, but I'm leaving. I'll be visiting Los Angeles, will be meeting to-be family in the Bay Area, but I haven't moved there yet. I'm not really single anymore, but I'm not married. Have left Romania but will be going back to Turkey. I'm as in between as it gets right about now, just sort of floating without much of an end in sight. We'll get married, but even then we'll stay somewhere temporarily till we can get on our feet.

Anyway, not saying any of this to complain. Just that life is very different now than I think it will be again any time soon. And it's a reminder that the rootlessness I'd romanticized for so long wears after a while in real life. And unpacking, even if it's just in a little plastic bin, feels like luxury. Maybe I'm just old.

In the meantime I've successfully survived extrovert-mode for nearly a month in Turkey, made it back to the States, watched my best friend get married, missed the bouquet with my hands but caught it with my hair, introduced my almost husband to my favorite city in the world and also Bojangles, brought him to meet my family/other important people, swum in the Atlantic, have not yet frozen to death in the tundra of American air conditioning and have survived a grand total of about twenty one hours in the car. Pretty great stuff.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

gone on a walk

Differences between walking places in the States and Romania:

1. If you did it in flip flops in Romania, they'd think you were crazy. Flip flops = house shoes.

2. At least in Wilmington (and not downtown), it's not pedestrian friendly at all but it sure does smell nicer. 

3. Way more cat calls and strange looks here. But if you've lived in Romania you've developed a stare-down face. Effective against hoot-hollerin' rednecks.

4. Possibility of death by SUV increases by about 3000%.

Feels like stepping into an old life already.