I was driving home today and this song (Bittersweet Symphony) came on the radio.
It took me back to when I was flying over to Europe when I was 12. During the tremendously long 9 hour flight, there was plenty of time to cycle through the pre-recorded radio lists, and so I heard that song a couple times on that flight. It was my first time being off the continent. I'd been to Canada before, but that was just a jaunt up over the border. This was a trip that was pretty big, and showed me what another part of the world was like.
I never thought I'd live overseas. It's not something I planned. It wasn't until I came over here to see Mark that I thought of seriously moving over here.
There was just something odd about sitting here halfway around the world, driving -home- halfway around the world. It was not something that my 12-year-old mind would have even ever dreamed of.
But now that I'm here, I can't really ever imagine leaving either. It is a great place to live.
I was in the toilets the other day (that's the world they use for restroom/bathroom over here) cleaning, as that's my job, and saw a sign for post-partum incontinence and how it's normal. The ad was placed there not by someone pushing a drug, but by a foundation sponsored by the government. They were just there to give out information. I like that about things here. You see the government paying for advertising to encourage people to get fit, not to smoke, to take breaks while driving. I guess it makes me feel empowered. It makes it feel like I would have a voice, like I can affect change.
I like that I don't have to be concerned about getting a horrible illness, and also that I know people around me are going to be taken care of if they get cancer. They aren't going to be bankrupted by it.
I love the high minimum wage. I've worked harder than I ever have as a cleaner over here, and I don't think they work any less hard in the states, but they are compensated so much less. I appreciate that I can have a good life even if I just have a very simple job. Certainly I am looking to chase opportunities and do something that interests me more, but I love that just having a job is enough.
I also love the sporting culture, but that's a whole other issue and could have lots of individual entries of its own.
I'm not a huge fan of the heat (which actually hasn't been bad since I've been here, I just keep bracing myself because I think one day I will not be able to stay ahead of the heat), and I miss the snow and Autumn. I miss the people I care about who are back in the states. But I love my life here.
This is not how I saw my life panning out. I never dreamed of it. But I am glad I am here now.