He Is (at 32:45)

Old notes taken mostly from my personal time with God. We're moving house again, so, I guess we're back to being, literally, pilgrims on the Rough Roads of Planet Earth. (Photo taken on a road to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, North Auckland, NZ, Dec 2009.)

Friday, February 11, 2011

End of "Jumper"

When we first arrived here in the US we still kept using the word “jumper” to mean jacket. My children’s cousins found it a bit annoying because it sounds strange to them. Then we realized how Kiwinized we have become.  “Jumper” used to sound strange to us, too, when we first arrived in NZ, but later it became very much a part of our vocabulary, of course. I still remember going online to look up the Kiwi English words that a foreigner like me has to get to know, to be able to survive in NZ. And for the first year we were there I really didn’t understand much of what the locals were saying when I listened to their conversations. But alas, now we're in the US, and before we keep annoying more people, we have to dislodge "jumper" from our language. :-)

When I first called the US Consulate in Auckland concerning our immigration visa application the female voice in the answering machine answered saying: “Welcome to the United States Consulate in Auckland…” Then I felt like, “Wow, this is sooo home.” and thought, “I haven’t heard that accent in ages.” I didn’t realize how strange Kiwi English had been to me until then. And that was probably already at least 18 months into our stay in NZ. I had actually tried very hard to kind of learn the way the Kiwis speak English and understand it, especially. So, when I heard the answering machine speaking in American English I realized it was so easy on the ear and in fact it sounded like music. I guess I was partly homesick, too, because Filipino English is very much patterned after American English. And when we went to the Consulate for our interview we realized we haven’t used an elevator for the past two years we had been in Auckland. We have kind of forgotten how it went and we realized we were so used to elevators in Malaysia and Singapore. There’s, after all, hardly any use for elevators in the sprawling Auckland suburbs.

And now that we are here, it’s not exactly “home”, although to be honest, I am not quite sure anymore what “home” is. The subway and bus systems here remind me a lot of Tokyo. I only wish though that the buses here are as reliable as the ones in Tokyo. Here the buses are sometimes late, or early, unlike in Tokyo where they are ALWAYS on time. It does matter a lot to us that the buses better be on time, because waiting for a few minutes more than necessary can mean like waiting for eternity in this kind of cold. For my three older children who have lived in and visited Singapore before, the subway and bus systems remind them of Singapore.

Then when we went shopping for our furniture in Ikea, Long Island, it was like déjà vu. Some of the household items and furniture we had in Malaysia last time, purchased from the Ikea store there, are still available here. In fact, the curtain my husband chose for our house now was the same curtain in our older daughter’s bedroom. How strange is that?

We had to dispose of almost all our things when we left Auckland because it’s just too expensive to ship them here. I still feel eerie about the whole thing because we brought almost all our things to Auckland in a container when we moved there, and then we had to leave them all behind when we left! I thought, well, they are just things, and I have no attachment to things of this world. Strangely, from the time  we came here and started operating in this new house we’re renting, I keep remembering the things I had whenever the need for them arises. I remember each and every item, especially my kitchen things, maybe because I used them a lot. It shouldn’t matter anymore and yet it does break my heart (!) when I think that I had spent so much time choosing, even waiting for sales, to get those items, and now they are all gone and I have to start “collecting” all over again. The very strange thing is, I remember thinking of bringing my sharpening stone for my kitchen knives but I couldn’t, because it’s too heavy. But now I wonder where I can get a replacement for it. (And my knives are getting blunt fast.) I got it in Singapore maybe at least 15 years ago and now I will probably have to wait for my husband to get a replacement for it when he goes back to Malaysia for business, and he might not even be able to find one. Eventually, I would be able to replace those items I lost, one by one, but it would take time, or maybe I’ll never even be able to get everything back. I don’t know.  But as far as home decors are concerned, I have sworn I’ll never replace them again, because we might just move again and I have to dispose of them again. I don’t only lose money every time I do that, I also lose time and effort going through the exercise of getting rid of them. So now I don’t care if my house even feels empty, or bare.

Besides the things we purposely left in Auckland we actually lost important things at the Auckland airport and a few items seem to have gone missing as well in our move between my sister’s house in NJ and our house here. I know those things need not have been lost but they did get lost. And for that, until now, I am still baffled over this move. I can’t seem to make head or tail of things or circumstances. Probably I am just suffering from the “uprooted syndrome” again, but this time, in much greater degree. One day maybe, when the chaos and the dust have settled down, I would understand and get a grip of what has happened to us. My older daughter sometimes says she needs counseling to cope with what she’s going through. And sometimes I feel, so do I. Eventually we would find a safe place to deal with these changes in our lives but thank God, even while we still can’t, we have Him as our Counselor.

Followers

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The Many Versions of Love Stories 1. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. They live happily ever after. 2. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. The marriage sours, they part, and live happily ever after. 3. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. Then boy finds out it's more fun to be girl... or girl finds out it's more fun to be boy, they part, change sexes and live happily ever after. 4.Finally, boy or girl meets God. It's love at first sight... The roads went rough, the tides rose high, the strong winds blew and the quake shook the ground... but they truly live happily ever after, forever and ever. 5. Try God's love... it's always happy forever after, and the story never ends. :-D