With change comes readjustment

The lack of hot water in my apartment and my landlord’s delay in correcting the problem has been taking its toll. At first, I told myself that I shouldn’t get angry that things simply take longer to complete here. When I arrived, I would carefully create a list of tasks to accomplish in a given day. It only took a few times of waiting in line for 2 hours only to run into the dead period of the day (12-2 p.m.) for me to realize that working with any sort of institution here was about long range planning and patience. However, I think that he has taken this a bit too far, as I have had no hot water since I moved in. The promises of rapid repairs and consultations have been forthcoming. Too bad I can’t say the same for progress. So, in light of this, I am adopting a new strategy in negotiations that will hopefully result in a speedy solution to the problem: Simply talk about the money that he stands to lose in rent without repairs. Money has been a powerful motivator for him with previous negotiations so I have good faith that this will work again.

I can say that even after a month of being here, I am learning to adopt new habits and break some patterns of behavior that I had before. After going out to dinner with a friend on Saturday, I thought that I would send a quiet evening at home.  My friend had told me about a party, but the odds were very high that I would know few or no people. At first, my gut reaction was to not go. The fear of actually having to be open to meeting people briefly took over. I know you are saying, “But you are living in a foreign country. Almost everyone you meet will be new.” I have a horrible tendency to acquaint myself with a few people, and then shut myself off from meeting others. This was one of the many things that I was afraid of with moving here and one of the things that I waned to stop. So to try to break out of my shell at little bit, I have made a promise to myself to not turn down any invitations that I get and to make a concerted effort to meet people. I figured that even making the minimal effort of showing up would pay off.

If I gain nothing else from my experiences here, I am learning to be more assertive in several ways, which surely will be helpful in the future. On another note, the abysmal performance of Yale in the Harvard-Yale game was so disappointing. At least they scored a touchdown in the end.


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