I don't. Have. To live like a refugee. Don't have to live like a refugee.

Whoa it's already the 17th. How did that happen? Circle tonight and I'm looking forward to getting my shamanic journey on. I think the little girl is staying with her dad but she might change her mind, I'm not sure. She has a hard time leaving because I'm fun and affectionate and her mom and everything. (Not saying that I'm MORE fun than her other parent, but if anyone else wants to say it, I won't argue, haha.) But once she settles in she will probably be fine staying over.

We walked to a bakery today and it was super windy and cold. She said she didn't like Iceland anymore and wanted to go back to Texas. Honestly, I kind of do, too, but I have a feeling we're here for at least three years (gulp), and anyway there's nothing much to go back to right now except contagion. The lady at the bakery was foreign and she spoke English to us. When she heard my accent she asked me if I was American (they never really ask, they more like tell you, "You're American."). Yes, I am. She said she was glad I was able to be there in Iceland where I was safe from the virus. I told her I was too, and that I'm Icelandic too and that's how I was able to be there. She told me she has family in the States. Then I told her I was from Texas and her eyes widened in horror, "It's really bad there!" Yeah, I know. I told her about how my daughter and I had been stuck at home since March, and about wearing masks to go out and everything. She thought I just meant that we wore masks at the airport. I said, "No. Everywhere." And how I'd only been to the store like five times in that whole time, and no school or work either.

When people here we were living in Texas, their reaction kind of reminds me of this:

Yeah, I was in the shit.

When I first got here I had a bit of PTSD. I got really anxious in stores and out in public. Just looking around at everyone living normal life like, "How is this possible?" It was a strange feeling. The locals don't really understand what it's like. I mean they were scared during the short time that everyone listened to the government and stayed in their homes until they were able to contain the spread, but it's different after months of unrelenting fear and frustration that no one is listening to reason, least of all the government. It wears you down. You get tired of being afraid. You miss normal life. It's terribly lonely and also you feel cramped and crowded at home. It wears on you. Your nerves get fried.

Being suddenly free is strange.

But I'm starting to feel safer. More like myself. More in my body. More alive.

Besides the fluctuating weather, and the gross vibes downtown (which we thankfully got away from), I'm trying to figure out how to be myself here. Like, the land out in the country is very magical, but the culture feels a little harsh sometimes. Well, for a Pisces moon woman, anyway. The general feeling I get is like, most people are focused on accomplishing many tasks, very quickly, and a bit brusquely at that. It's slightly harsh. I think I lived in the South too long. I feel kind of like, what's the hurry, everyone? I get a little stressed out at the store because it feels like I'm not rushing enough. I think maybe I smile too big at customer service people because they always look kind of startled whenever I do. Well, I can't help it, this is just my face. I think maybe people don't smile as a greeting in general here. It's more like, a smile-free greeting and then getting on with completing whatever the task you're there to complete might be. If they don't smile back, I'm like, "Ouch! Damn, baby, was it something I said?" And I think it might have been abnormal when I offered the guys who delivered my washer and dryer something to drink, even just water or something. Hey, where I come from that's the polite thing to do, but they seemed surprised and declined. Maybe they just don't want to risk the virus germs, I don't know.

So I often feel a little bit frazzled, like, okay, I need to carve out a space for my own energy to feel safe to come back to me.

Every once in a while we'll meet a kind stranger. Like the other day when it was really sunny and warm, and it was one of our first mornings in our Mother-Daughter Chalet, we put some of her toys and books in a basket, and brought out a book for myself to read, and some juice for her, and a beach towel, and the sidewalk chalk, and we spread it all out on the grass and enjoyed the morning. This grandma-aged lady on a walk smiled really big at us and said, "Good morning, my, what a cozy time you're having there!" (rough translation) and we smiled really big back and thanked her.

And today when we were walking back from the bakery, it was so windy and my baby was so cold (I should have put her in warmer pants but I didn't realize), I finally just scooped her up and carried her, and a (not gonna lie, kind of cute) guy was walking opposite us and smiled at me. It was funny to see her all bundled up and then being heaved over my shoulder like a piece of luggage the rest of the way home, so I didn't take it to be flirtatious or anything. But between his features and the fact that he smiled at us like that makes me assume he was a foreigner, haha. Nords tend to be more reserved. And paler. And taller.

That's another thing! In America I'm considered to be on the taller end of the height spectrum for a woman. Or like, medium-tall. Here, I daresay I'm medium-small! It's disconcerting, it's like shrinking overnight. I'm in a forest of tall people everywhere I go. Tall, rushing people who seem unnerved by a (medium) small American girl with bad grammar smiling at them. So I used the wrong declension for "two" when I asked for something, so sue me! I'm not an idiot, this language is just low-key ridiculous! Oops, they don't like it when you say that. I mean, this language is the prize jewel of planet Earth. Everyone should have 85 ways to say the word "horse" or whatever. There, there. Sorry I showed you my teeth when I said hello. Backing away now...

(I should just buy five of everything, because the word for five never changes no matter what case you're using. But that would get expensive.)

One thing about returning back to normal is that I actually do feel ready to like, meet someone. I'm tired of being alone, and feeling like I'm in a safe place makes my whole being feel different. So we'll see who comes my way. You never know. As long as he's kind to me, kind to children, kind to animals, smart and funny and doesn't take me for granted (waaay too much of that going around these days), that would work for me. A working knowledge of Anchorman quotes and mind-blowing "intimate times" are also a plus, am I right, comrades? Eh? Outta sight, my man! I think I still remember how to do it. You just slather you body in scented oils, light a candle or seven, say a prayer to the earth goddess and let the distant sounds of The Hunt wafting in your window from the forest guide you from there, right? Is that not... how the kids are... doing it these days? No? Okay, fair enough. I think hunters need permits these days, anyway, so. That's fine.

Okay, I have a business idea that I think would take the fuck off here. I want to start my own drive-thru coffee food truck. I would just be open in the morning during rush hour and then from like 2-4 during the afternoon slump. Coffee, water, hot chocolate, maybe lemonade in the summer, and my baked goods. I've got the PERFECT self-contained breakfast pastry from Texas that would be really popular among people with taste buds. And then dessert type stuff in the afternoon. My strawberry pie is beyond delicious and I could make it as a bar so it's portable, and then just like, have one or two different options each day. There's no delicious drive-thru coffee/espresso here that I know of, and not a strong enough (in my opinion) coffee-to-go scene here. The Pacific Northwest has these drive-thru caffeine shacks that essentially sell straight amphetamine in a cup, and they're phenomenal. That's what I'm talking about. I'd call it something super American sounding and paint like a large, idealized cartoon version of myself on the outside, with a sign that says something like, "Your friendly neighborhood caffeine dealer" on it and all the names of items on the menu would be hippie/psychedelic-inspired, and I daresay it would be a huge hit and moneymaker. 

Workers of Scandinavia, stop eating a small, healthy breakfast of yogurt and muesli at home and get a giant American-sized coffee and something wrapped in bacon to fuel your rage on the go! That's another thing, I would do American coffee sizes. I got a coffee at a bakery the other day and I ended up asking her to just put two servings in the same cup and charge me for two coffees. It was still smaller than a Starbucks "tall" (which is small). So, yes. Lots of caffeine and fattening spicy food. It can be my contribution to this tiny island nation of high winds and brisk task completion.


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