It’s not you, but it’s not Timor

One of my best friends has been living in France for three years. She didn’t know a word of French before she moved, but is now a fluent speaker, living and working full-time in the language. We were talking on the phone last night and I was sharing my ATM story.

“How long did it take you to feel comfortable enough with French to do like, administrative tasks in it?” I asked, explaining that my frustrations over things going wrong are compounded by the fact I know I’ll likely have to try and fix them in Tetun.

“Oh, I still feel uncomfortable!” she replied, chirpily.

“But, dude, I feel uncomfortable doing that stuff in Australia. I hate it. I fell off the electoral roll and had to call someone about it. That was in English and it was still awful.”

A sudden shaft of sunlight through my gloomy mood. Duh – I’m the same. I’ve always hated doing stuff like this, Tetun or no Tetun.

Maybe, sometimes, things aren’t just awkward because it’s Timor. Maybe this time, it’s me.

5 responses to “It’s not you, but it’s not Timor”

  1. I agree! You NEVER liked dealing with bureaucracy. It always freaked you out – but you had a sister or a mum to do it for you! Take care xxx


    1. Haha, you’re totally right. Where’s Em Raynor when you need her?!


  2. […] written before about how uncomfortable I feel doing everyday tasks in Timor – I’m self-conscious and awkward, and I tend to seek what feels most like […]


  3. A sage reminder on my first week of life in the UK. And I don’t even have a language barrier to blame! Remembering to be honest, and kind, to myself x


    1. In a way that’s worse — I can use the language barrier as an excuse for screwing up! Glad to hear you’re being kind. 🙂


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