Expat Life

Dazed and Confused

Today I woke with a kiss on the forehead from my husband. This means I’ve slept through his morning routine, and he’s about to leave for the day. It’s time to fend for myself.

My morning was an odd one. After getting out of bed, everything seemed to be difficult. I’d start something and stop doing it half way through feeling somewhat confused about how to do it and what I should be doing next. I wondered if it was my lack of schedule or just the last couple of days of feeling a bit bemused catching up with me. I also wondered if perhaps this is what happens to all expats. They’re ok for a few weeks while they have things that need to be done and organised; then, they begin to find their feet, and everything they’ve learnt so far seems to go out of the window.

Still, I made it out of the door, fully prepared, somehow.

Today I had something different planned. I was meeting with another ‘new friend’, and much like the last time, she’s someone I’ve never met. The woman I met is a friend of a work colleague of my dad. She’s an expat who has been living in Greenwich for the last ten years, and after discussing my new expat situation, both my dad and his colleague thought a meeting might be useful.

We met around 9am and promptly started a tour of the local areas. Greenwich, Old Greenwich, Stamford, Riverside, Cos Cob. All names I’d heard, and places I thought I sort of knew. I soon found out I most definitely did not. After about two hours of exploring and on numerous occasions telling myself, ‘I must remember that’, I got out of the car feeling sure I’d taken in nothing. I even wondered if I’d replied to questions and prompts at the right times throughout the journey. My guide was lovely, super friendly and a great new person to meet. But, my brain felt full to bursting.

Next was the official reason for meeting. My first Barre class; a kind gift from my new friend, and something I’ve wanted to try for some time given my best mate is a barre teacher. But, as if I wasn’t shell-shocked enough, this was a bodily beating I was not prepared for.


After collecting all of my paraphernalia from the corner of the studio; mat, blue elastic band, brown strap, green ball, and weights, and leaving my sanity at the door, the class began. I thought I had an idea what to expect after a low down from my besty. I’ve also been in the gym pretty much every day for the last three weeks so I felt sure I’d be able to cope.

Well, I can safely say tomorrow will be painful. My legs and arms were put in places they didn’t even know they could go. I embarrassingly got cramp half way through a manoeuvre, and when I couldn’t get into one of the positions due to a bad back, there was certainly no fading into the background option. The teacher instructed me what to do and when I didn’t properly explain why I couldn’t get into position, due to the teacher trying to direct me and chant the rest of the barrer’s into the correct spot, I was informed I needed to stay behind after class to learn where my shoulder blades are! Incidentally, I know where my shoulder blades are, I just couldn’t keep the ball there!

In all fairness, the class was brilliant, and the teacher was super attentive. I was so grateful to get the chance to go, I guess I’m just used to London classes where fading into the background is always a viable option!

On leaving the class, I received a message from my dear friend about some issues at home. So, while replying, trying to take in my bizarre morning, and feeling sure I needed some food, I wandered around in a daze and eventually found my way home. But, remembering I had no cash because I bought, lost and had to repurchase my train ticket yesterday, I ended up raiding the cupboards to find a stale piece of bread, peanut butter and a few crisps. Moments later the cleaner for our temporary serviced apartment arrived. I wasn’t sure where to put myself, so, still in my gym gear, I picked up my bag, left the flat and started walking.

My place of refuge? My favourite of course. Lorca. Here I am coffee in hand, getting the words that have been spinning around my head out on paper. Where I would be without a place to put thoughts into words. The written form of ahhhhhhhhhh…… and relax….

It’s only 3.30pm, and I feel like I’ve lived through about three days in as many hours. As I write, I keep having flashbacks to my tour. There’s certainly some useful nuggets in there! But, right now? I think I’ll just sit and stare out of the window until I can remember how to put one leg in front of the other.

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