I am loathe to publish personal things on this blog, but I haven’t been writing as often as I’d like, and I’d like to explain why. Also, I think it’s important to show that the jet-setting life of an expat is not always a glamour parade. Sometimes, it sucks just as much as everyone else’s life!
Here is a summary of the last six weeks of my life:
– Cal had to commit his best friend into a psychiatric hospital following a devastating saga best told over many, many drinks, but involved a Romanian violin player, Mary Magdelene, and the State Department. Then we both had to stand by impotently as this friend’s parents and doctors sabotaged her treatment and finally released her back into a world she clearly is not ready for. We can only pray she is getting the care she needs where she currently is, which we cannot disclose. The good news: We are able to get back to our regularly scheduled lives.
– I went to the gynie finally, and got a prescription for some homeopathic granule things that will hopefully make me stop with the four-month cycles followed by two weeks of hemorrhaging. I started taking them – it’s a very strict system of 5, 8, 14 days – and noticed after the first dose that the bottle expired LAST YEAR. Went back and got new granules and have to start the process all over again. The good news: I’m not dying of anything ovarian-related. Also, the meds cost under 2 Euro.
– My mother had an alarming-sounding high blood pressure-related attack thing and had to go to the hospital, and when she got scanned they told her she had a brain tumor. She had to go for like one million tests, and still has more tests. The good news: She didn’t have a stroke, and the tumor is non-cancerous, has calcified and is totally not affecting her in any way.
– We paid our exorbitant electric bill. They took out double the amount, which with the completely crappy exchange rate almost wiped us out. No one is able to tell us why, or reverse it, or help us get onto a normal rate. The good news: We are paid up through the summer. Also, friends of ours found a non-government-run electric company and will help us get set up with an account there.
– Cal washed his card in a hot washing load and melted it. It looks like an overcooked piece of lasagna. The good news: Carrying it around with us and showing it has had a Jedi mind trick effect, and everyone has been really cool about waiting until we get the new card.
– He had another card sent out express, but UPS doesn’t deliver on Saturdays in the South of France, even though the package was marked OMG SUPER EXPRESS URGENT. Also, the card landed at Lyon, was in Paris for a while, and finally made it to our door yesterday. It took almost one week. The good news: We have the card!
– My bank card expired and I had not received a new one. I had an older one that expires next month, and they reactivated that and said they would send out a new-new one in two weeks. A few days later I called my bank to check my balance, only to find they had closed the account when I canceled the old card. Although this was not my request AT ALL, no one is able to do anything about it unless I personally stop into my bank branch, from which I am 4,000 miles away. Yes, they know I’m in Europe. No, there are no exceptions. No, I cannot open a new account with them. Bye, bank account I’ve had for six years! The good news: Cal immediately called and got me on his account, and they’re sending out a new card with my own name on it.
– If I did not have three American friends who have planned for this for eight months, and are unreachable until I pick them up at the train station – in Rome – this weekend, I would have canceled my trip there. Last year, two of them came in the middle of my work-related lawsuit and I was so broke I couldn’t pay attention. This year, I’m arriving on the heels of the above-mentioned shit storms and will have to rely on Western Union payments from Cal when money comes in. The good news: I’ll be in Rome this weekend!
My mother has always told me that God gives you only what you can handle.
I get it. You think I am strong and fierce. I got the point. Please to stop now?