Sunday, July 10, 2011
I have a tendency to move to countries I've never been. China. Kenya. Now Hungary. When you've never been to the place you're moving, you try to imagine what it will be like. You get excited about the possibilities. You think through the things that are important to pack, when really you don't know what you'll need or miss or want. Then there are The Expectations. You create these in your head even if you try not to. I have to admit that I do have expectations when moving from Kenya to Hungary. I expect things to work properly in Hungary. I expect to go to the park and read a book. I expect to use public transportation. By myself. Whenever I want. I expect my husband not to worry about safety too much. I expect to go running with my iPod. I expect less dirt. I expect more camping and hiking. I expect a lot of white people. I expect to blend in more (until I open my mouth). I expect some frustrations, particularly language ones. And I expect that unsettled feeling for awhile, the feeling that I really don't know how to do things in this country yet and I have to just keep trying. Expectations are inevitable. It's when they're not met that disappointment sets in, followed by frustration, maybe even anger at times. I figure that none of that frustration can be as bad as braving the roads of Nairobi. But then again, maybe I'm wrong. All the moving-abroad-books say to keep your expectations low. Is "reading in a park" too high of an expectation? I'll let you know when I get there.