It would be a lie to say the last couple of days have not been very difficult for me. I had my appointment with the dermatologist on Thursday, and the mole needs to be removed and biopsied. This rather scary prospect was compounded by further stress over whether or not my insurance would actually cover this (my dermatologist’s office seemed to believe it wouldn’t), wondering where I was going to get the money, what I would do if I did get bad news in the end and whether I could stay in Germany (and so on). It turned out they were wrong, and the insurance will cover it.
There are still a lot which I need to sort out. I am still unable to register with the local citizens’ office as I need my landlord to fill out a particular form, which means I do not have a tax number, which means I can’t get paid and makes me unable to inform my UK bank of my change in address without causing problems. Hopefully that can be sorted out within the next week or two, but the delay is frustrating. I am currently sleeping on an air mattress and will not be able to buy a proper mattress and bed until I receive a paycheck, but that could be in four weeks’ time. These delays are frustrating and stressful and the cancer scare is just compounding it. I have also had some frustrations at work, and only today received a fixed timetable which will enable me to start planning my life and getting into a routine.
As a result of all this I feel I am in a very different head-space right now than most of the other ELAs I’m interacting with. I feel myself wanting a lot of time alone, as well as a lack of desire to socialise much (which honestly is really unlike me). The bureaucratic delays and the prospect of minor surgery mean I am unable to plan to go swimming next week let alone the international trips some of the others are planning. I fear that I am being read as antisocial or unfriendly in some contexts but there is not much I can do about it.
I hope that this week I can make some progress, but patience is the operative world. The world of expat and TEFL blogs often paints a very rosy picture of life abroad; but at the end of the day, moving abroad does not involve a transition from a regular person at home to a glossy idealized lifestyle-blogger type who lives a life of constant excitement, despite the image we sometimes try to present. Shit happens, and it can happen anywhere.