We’ve been in the new place for a little over a week now, and it’s situation normal all fouled up. It’s not that anything is wrong, per se. I need my habits and routines, and those don’t exist at the moment. Planning is difficult when you don’t know how long tasks will take. I need to figure out where places are, and when they’re open. Some tasks are dependent on other people and their schedules. My inner project manager won’t stop screaming.
Situation Normal All Fouled Up
There have been absurdities. To activate the internet, we needed an in-country phone. In order to activate the new phone, we needed the internet. This required a bus trip to the library. It was closed because COVID, but the wifi was on. We sat on a bench outside and got the phone activated. At home later, it took 6 hours on a chatline with support to get the internet turned on.
Other delays are my own fault. There was one specific financial institution I wanted to do business with, because their ethics align with mine. To get to the nearest branch was a long bus ride out and back. That was a whole day. I don’t regret it, but there are literally a dozen banks within walking distance that I could have chosen, if I was willing to work with vile, soul-sucking corporate entities.
We still don’t have office furniture or media gear. Katie’s working on the floor in her studio. I’m sitting on the sofa in my office. We can’t order desks and chairs until money finished moving around and we get our new debit cards. She’s writing scripts for videos and outlining blog posts. The upside is that we have a studio and an office to work in, so I’m not actually complaining.
The Heatwave isn’t helping
From the start of this move, I was concerned with spoon management. Dealing with customs officials wasn’t something I relished; I need logic and reason, and law enforcement-adjacent authority figures can’t be counted on to follow their own rules. Navigating unfamiliar airports when you need to get to a connecting flight on time is hell. The thought of being packed into close quarters with covidiots, maskholes, and other disruptive passengers did not spark joy. Katie and I were both prepared for me to have an anxiety meltdown. Fortunately, that never happened.
What’s been draining, though, is the heatwave. Temperatures in Finland during our final week were ridiculous. Carrying bags of trash, recycling, and donations down two flights of stairs was going to be hard enough. Doing so with sweat pouring into my eyes was a whole other level. I had to keep stopping to cool down. Dragging large rolling suitcases through multiple cities, hotels, and airports was made exponentially more difficult by dangerous heat. Walking to the grocery story here in the new place, and waiting at bus stops to get to necessary goods and services, has taken a lot more out of me than it should.
Finding the New Normal
Today is the first day that I get to just sit and work. No errands, no phone calls, no unpacking. I can see the shape of how things are going to flow. We know where the grocery stores are, and have established a regular shopping day. Starting next week I’ll have a regular laundry day. The broad strokes of getting set up in a new city, in a new country, have been accomplished. One-off trips and expeditions are the outlier, not the norm. I can sit with my bullet journal, gather my thoughts, and make lists. It will still be at least a couple of week until we can say we’re settled but at least I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.