what we do to get by.

13 Jul

hannah told me a while back that you gotta do what you can to cope while living in a developing – or in india’s case, a transition – country.

(in hannah’s case this meant flashing the florida gator’s flag to every tanzanian, singing disney to herself and sneaking into the congo. you know, the typical stuff.)

for me, coping sometimes means drinking a bottle (or 46) of chilled chardy and then dancing around my apartment to 60s rock and roll.  sometimes it is allowing myself to feel brave, even if it’s just for a moment.

but mostly it means relying on the  the man i married.

the husband and i got into several good habits as soon as i landed in this crazy country of mud and spice. right off the bat we both bought tiny computers (1/2 because it was practical and 1/2 because he likes things that make him feel like a giant) and brushed off our skype accounts.

we committed to talking at least 2 times a day – at the beginning of my day and end of his, and at the end of my day and the middle of his. confused? sure ya are.

just carry the 2 and divide by 54.3 and you’ll deduce that what i’m trying to tell you is that we’re basically conversational wizards.  even if it’s only for 10 minutes at a time.

he's my #1

another thing we started a few days after i arrived was the ‘nighttime picture’. now i know this sounds like some kind of creepy sexual reference, but it’s not.  because that would be really awkward. for everyone involved.

anyway, l’epouse simply takes a picture of himself as he is wrapping up his day and sends it to my email. i usually receive it when i’m just booting up my computer at the office, so i always feel a little more connected to what he’s up to.

you know, seeing his face is not a bad way to start the day.

and our modest strategies seem to be helping me (and him) get through each day.  sure, we have our fights – lordy we’re both far from perfect – but we always figure it out. because that’s kinda the deal with the rings, i think.

so maybe it’s weird to lump the husband in with chardonnay and shameless self promotion tactics as coping mechanisms – but what can i say – he’s always going to be the #1 way i get by here.

but wine is a close #2.  (sorry sweetie)


14 Responses to “what we do to get by.”

  1. Chu July 13, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

    Chubby Checker is always energizing. (I secretly wish it’ll make a come back as a modern day nightclubbin’ song):

    Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah is my favourite walk to work song:

    • heyitsmeal July 13, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

      i love the twist – love love love. but zip-a-dee-doo-dah is a great idea – what a wonderful way to start the day. love your choices birthday guy!

  2. Hannah July 13, 2011 at 3:36 pm #

    We do what we need to do. Because that is what life is really all about. Getting by. Surviving. Making it through the day. You are currently seeing the true meaning of survival, in a primitive setting (yea, I said it. Screw you anthropologists). You are seeing how strong the human spirit is, every damn day. What we have to do to survive.

    Life isn’t about what the world is – its about how we perceive it, how we get through it. The things and people that make it. Its why, through all the disease, famine, sludge and misery – you still see a smile on people’s faces.

    (And for the record. Admit that singing Disney songs helps you get by, too. Poor unfortunate souls… At least my songs taught me a bit of Swahili. Hakuna Matata.)

    • heyitsmeal July 13, 2011 at 3:48 pm #

      i mean yah, i think what you’ve brought up actually warrants another type of post that takes the idea of survival in these types of places from a perspective that doesnt talk about wine or hubs. could i survive without those things – yes! could i survive living in a slum – probably. we’ll find out in a few months when i do my village stay. that’s the time for a post about real survival.

      what you’ve brought up is primarily what enrages me about so many people and development agencies. people that live in what we could consider ‘less than ideal’ places are not necessarily unhappy or destitute or suffering every minute i mean, they get by. they make do, they find joy where they can and they live their lives as best they can. perspective, like you said.

      anyway, this warrants another post. thanks for the comment! :)

      • Hannah July 25, 2011 at 5:28 am #

        Read this on a blog today and I thought of this post:

        But they manage. They move on with their lives, taking care of the children they have left, doing their best to feed and clothe them and send them to school. And on Fridays they even find the time to get together to cook and chat and eat and laugh. Because somehow even they manage to find somethings to be thankful for.

      • heyitsmeal July 25, 2011 at 10:12 am #

        this sounds a lot more serious than just what we’re going through – but i suppose the principles are the same. you do what you have to do.

  3. A.A.B. (auntie angie baby) July 13, 2011 at 4:39 pm #

    And when you get through the day, say thank you.

  4. barnet July 13, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

    What do you do when your love is away?

    • heyitsmeal July 13, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

      hah this is on my ipod – i love it when it comes on! so appropriate. “does it worry you to be alone?” (nope!)

      • A.A.B. (auntie angie baby) July 13, 2011 at 6:26 pm #

        “…getting by with a little help from my friends…no…my blog….hahah”

    • heyitsmeal July 13, 2011 at 5:49 pm #

      i also LOVE this version…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSxzEy-m9KY&feature=related

      • barnet July 14, 2011 at 5:40 pm #

        But this is my fave…..

    • Hannah July 14, 2011 at 7:00 am #

      Didn’t I tell you to send this to Ben today? I think I did. I can’t remember. Last time we talked it was like FIVE AM my time. The things I do to be your friend.

      (Or what I do while pretending to write my papers. Who pursues a PhD anyway?)

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