Gains II

1 December 2008

Language-wise … I don’t know … that’s for another blog. But after 3 years living in New Zealand I certainly noticed that slowly I got used to be here.
To some people such things happens very quickly. They are already accustomed -no matter where they are- right after 1 day. Put them under the Eiffel Tower and 1 week later they are still sitting there; completely furnished and surrounded with countless friends.
To other people it takes centuries to get comfortable in their new lifes. Every morning they wake up frightened screaming: “NO !!! Where am I ?!” Only during dusk you can find them outside their houses, carefully sneaking through the streets, eyes down to the pavement, with timidly bended backs. And as soon as they think doom is impending, they flawlessly can imitate a tree.
Guess who. That ‘s me.

Years ago when we lived in the Netherlands, we guided an American guest through Amsterdam. He was observing us and suddenly he said: “You guys have a ‘certain confidenced walk’, like you own everything here.” Now I think he had a point. There indeed is a difference; If you fast forwarding a video of a tourist, you will see his head turning in all directions. He looks around constantly, slows his pace all the time.
I notice that the last few months I’ve gotten back my ‘normal’ walk. That big sign above my head “SORRY I’M WALKING IN YOUR GARDEN!” is now pretty much faded.
And my car driving is normalized. I’m beginning to know the map. The streets have become mine. Know: After 3 years! In a town of 20.000 people, hahaha.
Okay, the autochthons still grabbing their mouths by everything I do in public, but habituation is something else than integration. If a decent integration ever will happen, I can not promise.