This new place

Photo by Salim Virji under a Creative Commons License

Two months into living in this new place… As time plays its tricks on us, it seems forever. New experiences always make time slow down, and so if everything is new, time creeps. The first days here were endless, because every minute had a new sight and a new smell.

Now routines are slowly returning. Beloved has his classes, and his homework. He leaves the house five days a week and comes back. My routines are different. Unless a freelance  assignment (I got another one!) takes me elsewhere, I retreat to my work space (read: the bed) for the daily scheduled task of applying for a job. We figure out how often we need to do laundry, how much detergent to use, when no one else uses the dryers, small things like that.

We’ve found a brand of bagels that we enjoy and have discovered a type of bake-it-yourself bread that serves us well for sandwiches… Some of the hundreds of little habits that anchor humans to a place are beginning to form again.

Not all adjustments go so smoothly, unfortunately. My skin has been more or less problematic ever since I came out of puberty, and it has not yet gotten used to .. well.. whatever it is that skin gets used to when you move elsewhere. I think it’s the water, but it could be something else entirely. Maybe it’s the dryness, or the sun, or the effect of being exposed to a different population of bacteria, viruses or pollutants, or maybe the stress of moving combined with the effect of low doses of corticosteroids that does a little jig on my immune system.. I don’t know. I’m not a doctor. All I know is that the little membrane that holds my innards to my bones is ANGRY. And so I’m itchy. Everything gets infected at the drop of a hat, small wounds take well over a month to heal, my hair falls out, you name it.

I’m trying to not let it prevent me from socialising, but it does nibble away at my self esteem. And I’d prefer to not have to subject myself to another three-month course of antibiotics to get stuff back in line. Especially not since I’m not currently ensured and I’m more than a bit intimidated by the possible financial consequences of going to see a medical professional. I’m hoping to wait it out.

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7 Responses to “This new place”


  1. 1 Tania Elizabeth September 8, 2013 at 1:56 am

    That sounds so frustrating! I usually get sick for a day or two when abroad but I can’t imagine what you’re going through. I really hope things get better for you soon! Have you considered going to a free or income based clinic? I’m not really sure where in California you’re living so I just did a quick search for state-wide clinics, here’s the link… Hope that helps!

    http://www.freemedicalsearch.org/sta/california

    • 2 thesmittenimmigrant September 12, 2013 at 6:14 pm

      Aw thanks! That’s incredibly helpful! If things don’t improve soon I will definitely hit up a clinic. For now, I’m hoping that it will rebalance itself, but if things don’t improve I will definitely go out and get it looked at.

      It’s so nice of you to look for clinics though, I really appreciate it

  2. 3 Tania Elizabeth September 8, 2013 at 1:59 am

    *You have to scroll down a bit, there are some ads before the links to the actual clinics*

  3. 4 Sheryl September 8, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    I’m sorry to hear that your body is reacting to the new place. It’s always harder to feel confident being yourself somewhere new when your skin is not behaving. Maybe the water is harder here than it was in Europe? I’m sure there are natural solutions around, I just don’t know what they would be.

    It’s so good to hear that you two are getting settled though. Making somewhere new feel like home always takes time.

    • 5 thesmittenimmigrant September 12, 2013 at 6:27 pm

      Yup, I think the quality of the water has something to do with it. It seems to be more chlorinated (whereas the water where I come from is rather hard, but not / hardly chlorinated) and the region we live now in is very prone to mold. I think that contributes, although stress probably influences things as well (and maybe the new detergent, or increased sweating or..) So many things..

      Time will likely be the best medicine, so I’m trying to stay calm about it.

      It feels good to get a bit more settled, and I’m curious how feeling ‘home’ will evolve over the next months. I just heard from the shipping company that our ‘library’ will arrive next week and I am sure that will help a lot. Home is where the books are..

  4. 6 Daria September 9, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Argh, that does not sound pleasant. I had a similar experience while on holiday on Curacao, my skin was NOT HAPPY 😦 But that was just a few week holiday… :-/

    Big hug! (and I will be replying to your e-mail at some point <3)


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