Wednesday, September 24, 2008

39 days until takeoff

I look at that number and think, "Jesus, man, time's flown... but I'm also really excited to see everyone again. Or am I? Yes, yes I am. Of course I am. Why do I keep thinking about this? Does, like, a single hour pass when I'm not so caught up in my own pathetic countdown that I can just ENJOY being here in New Zealand with the little time I have left? Is that so hard? Is it, AJ? IS IT?!?"

So that's pretty much what's currently looping through the superb, surround-sound Bose speakers in my head. Yesterday marked three months of me being gone from the US, which got me pondering. When I first arrived in Dunedin, I would stumble awkwardly through my bathroom, thinking "this is my shower? And I have to put my towel here? And the water kind of pools up around my feet because the drain is so weak?" Then, in the kitchen for breakfast: "why are the plates in this cupboard? And what the hell kind of jam is this I'm using? Why does it taste so weird? What's going on?!?" Lately, though, I've grown so accustomed to everything that I don't even think about how it was once so odd. I have a hard time remembering how jam in the US tastes (better... but exactly why is vague), and as for the plates, OF COURSE they go on the far left-hand side. The final blow of my acclimitization hit me last night, while my flatmates and I watched Adaptation, a superb film. Chris Cooper's character was driving his van down the right side of a highway in Florida, and I cringed in expectation of a head-on collision. It seemed so... wrong. Horrified, I sat for the next ten minutes fake-driving a car in my head and trying to keep to the RIGHT side of a road. Thankfully, it's still a talent I possess.

To borrow an earlier used phrase, what the hell is going on? I swear I'm not going to be one of those people who returns from studying abroad and can't talk about anything else, but this madness is getting to me.

Event-wise, I found an incredible, top-secret Mexican restaurant last night. It's wedged in a narrow, three-story building behind a bar. The food was expensive, but the ingredients were all so choice. They had SEVEN different types of mole sauce for their enchiladas, and whichever you selected was applied LIBERALLY to the food. Tonight I'm going to see this Maori Reggae band called "Katchafire." Supposedly they're pretty decent. School's drawing to a close (only two weeks left and I'm free through January 5! Except for finals...), and I leave for Australia very soon. Crazy.

I'm writing this in the library. On my way through the main lobby area with all the cafes and shops and stuff, a girl turned around and ran smack into me with handfuls of garbage and a cup of coffee. The coffee dropped and spilled all over the floor, and she stood there looking stricken. This, as my careful readers will know, is yet another example of how absolutely, mindlessly ignorant Kiwis are of virtually everyone else who may temporarily be occupying their surroundings. They time their driving so that one can never make a dash across the street, they park their shopping carts horizonally across shopping aisles, and they walk in the absolute middle of pathways (which renders circumvention virtually impossible). Anyway, rather than apologizing profusely, running for napkins, and offering to buy her another cup of coffee (as I would in America, no doubt), I just stood there, glaring at her. I gruffly apologized, to which she said, "Oh... I suppose it's okay." suppose? SUPPOSE?!? Nothing along the lines of this whole mess being HER fault left the girl's lips, and after like fifteen seconds of uncomfortable eye-accusing (which is when my eyes repeatedly mouth, "it's your mess, bitch"), I left the scene. Coffee still covered the floor, and her friends all stared as I walked away, clearly shocked. I, however, counted the devastation as a personal triumph.

Maybe 39 days really is enough time...

1 comment:

simone said...

nice use of the word "circumvent".
it probably will be weird going back to the US.. in our "culture shock" prep class they said sometimes the culture shock of coming home is even weirder because you aren't expecting it. anyways, yay!!!