The Little Things
The obvious things like family, friends, work colleagues and my dogs are missed more than anything. It’s the little things that I miss too, like taking hot showers without hitting a 20A power switch. This little switch is so annoying! You have to turn it on approximately 15 minutes before your shower to get hot water. It is not only in my apartment, but every hotel room I’ve occupied so far in SE Asia, including Singapore. Needless to say, I forget to turn it on some mornings (shocker I know). The hot water runs out fast too, and I was instructed to turn off the switch immediately after my shower or the water heater will break. Some other little things I miss include wifi (I don’t have it at my NGO’s office or my condo), my summer weekends down the shore in Cape May NJ, my dishwasher, garbage disposal, and cable television. Everyone also moves at a very slow pace here. It reminds me of when I went to college down south in Virginia. It took me awhile to get use to everyone moving so slowly. The Jersey girl inside still wants to scream “hurry up” sometimes, but I believe my overall patience is improving profusely from this assignment. These little things are not major I know, and I am reminded daily that others have it a lot worse.
I have gone to two expatriate events with a group called InterNations. For those that don’t know, an “expat” is considered to be a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of a person’s upbringing. These expat events are definitely awkward, wearing a name tag and walking up to strangers introducing myself. I’m a social person though, so I know that I have to force myself to go out and make new friends or I’ll go crazy here in Malaysia. Luckily, I am happy to say that I have met some really nice people from all over the world. I hope my circle of friends expands more and more and that the right people who belong in my life will come and stay. I’ve definitely met some negative people who complain about everything, but I just make small talk and move on. I learned long ago, I prefer to surround myself with positive people. I’m trying to be comfortable being uncomfortable at times. It gets tough, but it’s a small price to pay for living a dream. Stay tuned…