I am currently sitting alone in an apartment in Northern Cyprus. I’m making lists of things I want to clean or organize or get for the apartment, but I am procrastinating the next steps. Not the cleaning or organizing itself, but the getting of the things I need to use to clean or organize. Where exactly do I find small divider shelves for the kitchen cabinets? Will the store have the specific light bulb we need? How do I carry all of these things by myself, without a car, through the heat? How do I ask questions of the store staff that will inevitably speak limited English?

I’m not cut out for this life.

The saddest part is that it’s not really a hard life. I have air conditioning and running water. There’s even a man who delivers fresh drinking water. But unfortunately I am too anxious to call him because he only speaks Turkish and Arabic. And while I can say “water” in both languages, he will inevitably say something else and I will have no idea what that something else means. So instead I will walk to the grocery store ten minutes away, buy water wordlessly, then carry it home with my shame.

(I don’t really mind all of this when my boyfriend is here. But he is in Abu Dhabi waiting for visa paperwork. This month has been a mess of garbage paperwork for various bureaucratic nonsense. And I don’t foresee it ending any time soon. Paperwork is the worst.)

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