Thursday, 23 December 2010

Settling in...

Settling into a new community is something many of us have experienced at some point in our lives. It always takes longer than you think it will… especially when you’re setting up home in a new country with no furniture and little spare cash in the bank. Trying to figure out how to pay the electricity, whether you need a TV licence, how to get hot water working, where the nearest shops are, what’s the exchange rate, how to work the security gate, what’s the number in emergency etc can be somewhat draining.

Then comes the culture shock… “I miss Christmas in the cold”…and …”it’s snowing back home and I’m missing it!” Or, “they don’t do that here?!” or “Why can’t we go out alone at night?” or “Why is everything so expensive?”

Thankfully, we see these as tell-tale signs of moving to a new place and despite our – relatively minor – struggles, Becky and I have been blessed by such a great community around us. We do miss England and our friends from Luton.

This year we will be celebrating Christmas with some people we got to know already (albeit briefly, as we were students then) last time we were here and some people we have only just met. None of the people we are spending Christmas with are family and none are ‘old friends’. Christmas with family will be limited to telephone calls and ‘Skyping’! Thankfully telephone calls and internet is much more accessible and cheaper than it was just a few years ago.

Christmas will not be the same this year as it was last, but should it be?

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