Please don’t laugh at me! 🙂 As I was thinking about this today I just had to share it with you because it made me laugh at myself so… I’ve been laughed at enough for one day! Geesh!
As I’ve been adjusting to my new adopted country and learning how things are done here, which in many cases are not hugely different, but different enough nonetheless, I find myself feeling so unlike “myself”. Does that sound strange? I wonder if I can articulate what I mean by that…
Today I drove to the Cable & Wireless office to pay our cell phone bills. Now this sounds like a pretty ordinary errand. One that everyone does without even thinking twice about it, right? Well, I agree, paying one’s cell phone bill is a no-brainer. But the first time I walked up to that little window, (a few months ago) where the nice lady sits to collect money, I made a fool of myself by walking up to the window with a big smile on my face and very proudly saying, “Adios!” (EYE ROLL HERE!) Yep! Now… I know what Adios means, everyone knows what Adios means( I didn’t have to go to Spanish School for that!) ! I don’t know why that came out of my mouth! But it did, and for my friends who don’t live in Boquete , let me tell you, the Cable & Wireless office is quite small and very quiet and everyone got a kick out of the “Tonto” (stupid) Gringa. Now, today I walked up to the same window with the very same nice lady sitting back there and I proudly said, with a smile on my face, ” Necesito Pagar Por favor”. 🙂 I then handed her a piece of paper with both Scott and my numbers written on it and she told me how much I owed, ( $22.00) and I paid, said, “muchos Gracias” and happily walked out. See what I mean? A seemingly simple errand and I was feelin’ like a million bucks! 🙂
Another example of a seemingly simple, everyday activity giving me an unusual feeling of success ,happened at the local grocery store. Now… Everyone who knows Scott and I are aware that he’s the boss of the kitchen and I simply do what I’m told about matters of food, like for instance for now, ( only while he’s recuperating) I’ve been doing the grocery shopping,( not my favorite chore! eye roll). I’m not proud to admit that I’m terribly intimidated when dealing with the guys at the meat counter at Romero’s. I know…what a wimp, right? So I had to ask for sliced meat and cheese for sandwiches, noooo problema, I got this,(especially given the fact that I had in my possession a stick-it note with the proper terminology, una Libra!) Not to be confused with Libro which is a book, okay, got it! Again, with that smile on my face, I requested,” Una Libra Jamon Ahumada”. Oh, I nailed that one! Feelin’ good I proceed to request one last thing from the guy behind the deli-meat counter ( feelin’ less intimidated every minute) ,”Media Libra” provolone,”Por favor”. At least that was what I thought I said……but……the huge pile of Provolone the guy handed me didn’t look so “Media”! !@#$ Gracias,(big smile)…. ooops, I think that might be 1 1/2 not 1/2 libra! Oh well! Far be it from me to attempt to explain , nope, I like Provolone! I’m still gonna call this one a Success! Somehow just doing the grocery shopping all by myself gives me an unusual feeling of success! Weird, huh? I never had this feeling at Safeway in Los Altos! I never felt especially accomplished while walking to my car after buying groceries like I did the other day here.
I have countless other similar example of small successes that I’m beginning to experience in my day to day life living here in Boquete . As these seemingly small accomplishments begin to pile up, I begin to feel a little bit more like myself, maybe not the exact same “self” that I was before this adventure, (who wants to stay the same ?). Hopefully I’m growing and becoming mucho mejor as a result of escaping my comfort zone and choosing to march right into uncomfortable situations, no matter how small, and figuring out how to make the unfamiliar more familiar.