. . . and I need a little more training.
When announcing to our friends and family that we were getting out of our apartment lease in Lexington, selling most of our earthly possessions, and moving to Serbia for Chris' job-transfer, I got used to answering the same questions over and over again.
"WOW, that's really down your alley, Lana! And where is Serbia again? Or did I hear you wrong . . . did you say Siberia? Ohhhh Siberia! Then you already know the language - at least you have that!!"
Once I cleared up the confusion and assured my friend that I would not be sold on the black-market or lose a kidney in Serbia, and that Serbians did not speak Russian, I knew exactly what question to expect next.
"So, ummm . . . what will you do, Lana?"
If you know me very well, you know that I love working - sometimes to the point of burnout. It may be because I want to feel like I am contributing to our marriage, but it is probably just my own selfish pride. I never thought I would have to face it - but I found myself struggling to answer this simple question.
"Well, you know, my first job will be to help Chris get comfortable in his new position, and of course I will wake up early with him, iron his clothes, make breakfast, pack his lunch . . ."
"Well, what about when he is at work? Do you know anyone there? Will you get a job or do anything."
"Ummm." I struggled to find the words. "I have to learn the language first, and I would love to get a job if possible, but who knows. . . guess I will just have to figure it out when I get there."
Often that answer appeased my concerned friend, but as we parted ways, I always found myself uncomfortable and anxious. Chris daily reminded me that I didn't have to work if I couldn't find a job, and while I deeply appreciated his words, my anxiety still stuck around. "Housewife" sounded so boring to me, and that is the only title that seemed to fit.
Now that we have been in Serbia for two weeks, I realize that I don't really know how to be a housewife (especially in a foreign country). The good news is that I have a whole lot of time to figure it out!
Noun "housewife" (plural housewives)
The wife of a householder; the mistress of a family; the female head of a household; A little case or bag for materials used in sewing, and for other articles of female work; – called also hussy.
Housewife Task #1 - Figure out how to do laundry because you're running out of clothes and your towels stink.
This is the washing machine in our apartment. Since our landlord is on odmor (vacation), and I cannot get it to start, I decided to leave it alone for the time being.
On Monday, I traveled to Senta with Chris and used the washing machine in the company house. Chris told me to add as much washing powder and softener as I wanted and set it on "green" and push the start button.
Please don't dye our clothes pink foreign washing machine. . .
SUCCESS!! It was a sunny day, so my three loads of laundry all got washed and dried before Chris finished work. Housewife victory!
I am trying to embrace my new job description (minus the sewing items and the hussy parts), and I am remembering the things that I love in life - people, long talks over coffee, meaningful relationships, fresh air, writing, reading, and exploring. I trust that Chris and I are exactly where we need to be, and in time, my days will fill up and I will miss these quiet moments.
On a side note. . . since I have had so much time on my hands lately, I have been reading other expat blogs, and my favorite so far is called Real Housewife of Belgrade. Check out her link and be prepared to laugh A LOT. She is also an American expant living in Serbia for her husband's job and rather than say she is "unemployed" she tells people that she is on a "sabbatical." I thought that only pastors and professors took sabbaticals, but if I am allowed, I would like to steal this "job" from the Real Housewife of Belgrade. I hope that we can meet because I've already learned so much about Serbia through her colorful writing. It would be great to hear about her adventures in person some time.
Tomorrow I will write about our new friends Marko and Lela!