A year and a half in the same city. In small gradual changes everyday life has turned me into a local … I think. Routine has replaced exploration. I know my way around. Uncertainty seems restricted to the surprises of public transportation.
Somehow this reminds me of a fairy tale. The one with the frog and the prince. Has the kiss of a sedentary life transformed me?
Well what does it mean to be new in a place? What does it mean to establish yourself and set up your life? I guess, the essence is a lot of friction, adventure and wonder … sometimes with an ounce of despair. Everything is new. There is a lot to discover. There is a lot to make sense of. It starts with the small things. Try understanding the local rules of garbage disposal. Sometimes it was hard to appreciate this, when my sense of wonder was drowned in the sea of necessity, when the things that had to be done left little time for the things I would have liked to do.
Knowing the language, and looking like a local, helps to hide the fact that I am the small strange creature that hops around, looks at the world with big eyes and does strange things, because I do not know better, while all around me the princes and princesses of the place walk and talk like they own it, ever have, and ever will.
It seems, that for locals the place they live in becomes background, easily overlooked and taken for granted. There are those that even act like proverbial royalty, with a sense of entitlement and ownership, especially when they spot a frog … or even worse, a poor frog.
I think it is helpful to have been a frog for a while to become a good prince or princess, to look wisely upon frogs who happen to pass through their kingdoms.
If I look at my experience, it is more comfortable to be a prince, but it is much more interesting to be a frog.
I like my frog.
We go way back.