I hope YOUR holiday season had the more conventional kind of American well-wishes, the kind that don't pre-suppose any prior state of negativity. We, unfortunately, mostly had the French kind. And there's the reason I haven't been blogging in so long--I've been caught up in the circumstances that provide the appropriate negative context for a message of hope to emerge. They are:
1. The electric company made a mistake, thought we didn't live here, and cut our power off. It took a week to get it reconnected (in below freezing temperatures). Message of hope: neighbors ran an extension cord from their house to ours to power our heater and a lamp. There are kind people here.
2. A small landslide took out our water for almost a week. Message of hope: A new friendship (with another ex-pat who has a functional shower) got enough quality time to grow a little.
3. Our internet died, repeatedly, and we were disconnected for long periods of time from the rest of the world (including my mom, while I was sick, and needed someone to whine to that was long-distance so they couldn't smack me). Message of hope: while calling our internet service provider, one of our great nemeses, I just so happened to get a customer service representative who had lived in Seattle for a year to do an internship. He decided he was going to give us "American Customer Service." But we weren't guaranteed that we would get him when we called back (since our internet liked to work while we were on the phone with tech support and then die when we hung up). So what did this guy do? Started calling us every other day to see if our internet still worked. Which meant we didn't pay for the calls, we were guaranteed no hold time, expedited service (since he knew all the problems already), and now we're his facebook friends. Anybody need to hire someone who speaks French and English and has a degree in international business? He'd love to come back and work in the US again, and boy does he have some mad customer service skillz.
And the last of my reasons for not blogging / excuses-to-complain-about-my-life-thinly-disguised-as-messages-of-hope: 2 months of vomiting. Actually, that one's pretty valid as a message of hope. This hope will be materializing towards the end of July 2011. Hopefully he/she doesn't look quite so much like an alien by then.