Living on Chocolate Milk

The seven hour time difference has wrought havoc. We're eating breakfast at 2 in the afternoon local time and playing in the living room from 11 p.m. until dawn. The boys are slowly coming around to the difference - I think after last night's 16 hour sleep they are on the right track. But I'm sleeping like I have a newborn - you know, in two hour blocks.

I could do the "expose yourself to sunshine" thing to acclimate. But there would have to be sunshine for that. And it's been raining since we arrived. Buckets. It's cold and gray.

We ventured out to a "super market" yesterday and I wanted to cry. It's not that they don't have stuff, it's just that it is chaos. Chaos. The way they drive their cars in the parking lot, the way they drive their carts in the store, the way they elbow and have absolutely no concept of personal space. Made me a little nuts.

Plus, reading all the labels (most in Ukrainian, which most people don't speak, but they put it on everything to be nationalistic) and trying to decipher what kind of ketchup is the real kind of ketchup made my sleep-deprived head spin. Seriously - they have about eighty kinds of ketchup because apparently any kind of tomato-based sauce is ketchup. I want Harris Teeter.

They do have Nesquik, though. It's thicker grained than the American stuff and it doesn't dissolve, but it makes the boys happy. And I'm using it as a substitute for sunshine and sleep. It's not that effective, but I do what I can.

(I'm on a borrowed computer because we don't have our connection set up at home yet...I have about a million observations and complaints and funny stories to tell, but my computer time is not my own...bear with me...)


Real said...

Sounds like culture shock. But I'm sure you'll get used to it again quickly. I remember going to France and my brain had to process not only the lanuguage, but all the new sights (every blasted sign had to be read for information and the buildings were different, etc..), the sounds, the smells. It was like I couldn't find a spot for my brain to rest.

I can't wait until you get your computer set up and we can hear all about it.

Big Jay said...

Hope you get settled down. I know you will. Your post reminded me of this article by Malcolm Gladwell in the New Yorker -


Funny article - it turns out there isn't going to be a better ketchup out there than Heinz. Sorry.

Liz said...

Hang in there! Missing you back here in the States - not that I've ever met you, but just knowing that you're not here - we miss you. :)

Maybe when you fly back here you could miss your flight and accidentally have a layover at Cincinnati Airport? Then we could meet up.

daysease said...

Guaranteed, you will feel better after a while. Give yourself some time... I SO know that feeling, and it DOES NOT help not to have the comforts of home, but, You will be okay. hang in there... Thinking of you, and Praying... :-)

Valerie said...

Wow, I would be in total shock right now. Praying for you all.

Hang in there.

Aimee said...

Ahhh...let the games begin. Think of each new day as an opportunity to play/try/adapt/attempt something new. Just don't try to win. Or understand the rules. Life abroad is one sport you learn as you go along.

Good luck with the ketchup. Small things like that can make a difference to everyday happiness.

I hope you're taking lots of notes because I'm so excited to hear all your crazy stories.

Ambulance Mommy said...

Hang in there....

In a year's time you are going to look back at this post and laugh. But that doesn't make it easier today, huh?

Our thoughts are with you!

someone else said...

Your trip to the super market sounds like a trip to Walmart. I always feel lucky to exit alive and in one piece.

Janelle said...

Such good stories you're making-we can't wait to hear them.

Hope it starts feeling like home soon.

Blog O' Beth said...

Sleep needs to be your biggest priority. "The greatest fears are born of fatigue and loneliness". Get some sleep and everything else will slowly fall into place. You are a brave, brave girl!! Good Luck!

S said...

Didn't expect to hear from you so soon. Can't wait to live this experience with you via blog world. I hope the computer is not on the slow boat from China?