Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Full Circle

There was a time when all I wanted was adventure and excitement and new experiences. I hated my boring life in Maryland and spent countless nights dreaming of living abroad, working abroad, traveling abroad. So when M and I made the decision to take the immigration leap, I tried to look at it as an opportunity to be abroad and experience all those adventures I had been dreaming of. WELL GUESS WHAT!! All I want is to GO HOME. Have I written this before? I can't remember. I can get all the adventure I need on a couple of annual vacations. Annual trip abroad? No problem. Weekend at a Delaware beach? Sounds good to me. Maybe I'm just in a bad place right now and being separated from everyone you know and love could make anyone feel sad and lonely, right? This whole process is just really hard and I hate being in transition.

Grocery Shopping

I shop like an American. Actually, I'm not sure how other people shop but I try to get most of the things I need in one trip and if I need one ingredient or some fresh produce later in the week I try to go for just that. My friend lives in NY and she only buys as much as she can carry home. My first day here I went to the grocery store and was conscious of the fact that I had to carry everything home by myself and I still bought like six bags of stuff. Some of it staples and supplies, like sugar, salt, and plastic wrap. The food I bought the first day lasted about a week and so back to the store I went, only this time I came prepared with a cart! You know the kind, the ones you see little grannies carting their groceries around in. I was so excited about having the cart and being able to load it up with heavy stuff, I shopped like I would normally shop at home in Maryland. Like someone with a car. And 4 kids. My shopping cart was filled with meat and chicken and vegetables and 2 liter sodas, yogurt, and a 5lb sack of potatoes. I'm not exaggerating when I say people were staring at my shopping cart. The lady behind me in line with only two items was so relieved when I told her to go ahead of me. Food seems pretty cheap here. Not if you convert it to dollars but imagine if the dollar was at par with the euro. I spent €75 and I have enough food for probably 3 weeks for two people even. I even got things that normally I would already have in my pantry like spices.

The cashier asked me something and I had no idea what she was saying. I think she was asking me if I was carrying my food with me, honestly still not sure what she was asking but I was like, yes I'm taking it with me. And then I hauled my cart full of bags over to the little locker section where my brand new granny cart was chained up and waiting to estrenar, or make her big debut. I loaded up my cart with all the heavy stuff and a baguette sticking out of the top, and still had bags left over. I loaded those up on my arm and started the walk home. This is when I start having thoughts like, what the hell is wrong with me? This cart is heavy, these bags are heavy, GRRRRRR. I finally get to my building, have I mentioned I live in a 4th Floor walkup? The lady told me over email the piso was on the third floor. Silly me, in Spain the first floor, or "planta baja" is considered 0. In elevators the ground floor is marked as 0 too. So I had to make two trips, one with the bags, then back down again to get the cart. Imagine me dragging the cart backwards up the stairs with two hands on the handle. There was no way I was taking stuff out and making three trips, by this time I was exhausted and ready to leave the groceries in the stairwell.

What's funny is while in the store I'm thinking of all the things I'm going to cook and when I get home I have no desire. I'm not used to living alone and it really sucks. But I'm determined to live off this monthly stipend and that means cooking and eating what I cook. Not that I'm never going to eat out but I'll be broke if I eat out more than once or twice a week. So I made a list of all the things I'm going to make with what I've bought so that when I look in the fridge and declare there's nothing to eat, I can refer to the list. Tonight I made picadillo with rice and luckily it turned out good because clearly I'm going to be eating it for the next 3 days.


Traci said...

Hang in there and don't forget that a backpack is your friend as well.

Dad said...

Reiterating what Tracy said, hang in there. It’s always the hardest until you make friends and start work. Once M gets there, a lot of things will get better. I keep telling grandma about your exploits and she always cheers up when she hears about them. She is very proud of her first grandchild.