Honey, I've shrunk!

In America, things are BIGGER or I am smaller. It feels like it's both. 

The standard milk container is one gallon (3.6L), great big fuel-guzzling cars fill the roads, and our apartment came with super-sized appliances ( the fridge, stove, washing machine, tumble drier are all gigantic). Wholefood chickens are about three times the size of Woolworths (ostensibly regular chickens and not turkey-cross). Cooldrink bottles are bigger and the standard beer can is double ours.  Are Americans also taller than South Africans? It feels that way. 

But also, I feel smaller. I suppose it's being less connected to the place. No network of friends that extends my arms, and interlinks my lives with theirs. No colleagues yet who rely on me, and me on them. Connectedness will come and for now, it feels a bit like I am adrift, but in a good way. It is as if the feeling of being smaller is also of being freer, of being lighter? Freedom to move in different ways, like the smaller fragments of DNA that move further in the agarose gel toward the positive charge. 

The last reason that I can think of for this Alice-in-Wonderland feeling is that Iris and Theo are doing the opposite and growing physically and emotionally at an alarming rate. Iris is starting to borrow my shirts and jackets and slipping on my shoes. I find myself looking at photo memories of Theo as a pre-schooler and wondering how it went so quickly. He is now firmly in the elementary school age group, and this week was the start of school. 

On the first day of school, Iris and Theo were both anxious but brave. They walked into school looking self-assured with their chins up and backpacks on, but there was that one glance back at me that said 'Shucks, I hope this is ok!'. I waited anxiously for the end of the day and was relieved to hear that all was GREAT. Both kids are in small classes and have lovely, warm, and attuned teachers.  They have come back after school saying their days have been happy, with much to share about what they have learnt and experienced. 

The start of school has far exceeded our expectations, even though we choose our neighborhood based on the excellent reputation of the public school. It is compulsory that Iris learns an instrument at school, she has chosen the violin and will continue piano privately.  Theo has enjoyed demonstrating his prowess at the monkey bars during recess, the hours of practicing at the park opposite our apartment have come in useful. We are amazed that all is for free (well, y'know tax) including school lunch and breakfast for kids arriving between 7h30-8am. 

Last weekend we went camping in Cape Cod. This one is a long weekend and we are having a quiet time at home. This morning I enjoyed a run along the Emerald green belt into the center of town, where I spent time admiring the communal gardens. I listened to a Murakami short story during the run which made that hour of my life feel a bit other-worldly, in typical Murakami fashion.  

The other side of the coin in this well-functioning place is the crazies. The Texas anti-abortion law has incensed me. This isn't the forum, but the court's clever subterfuge is harrowing and the outcome has soured my week. I can't help but think of The Handmaid's Tale and feel seriously creepy about Texas. It is ironic that in Texas people are so determined about the right to their own bodies wrt Covid vaccination, but they want the right to someone else's body when it comes to abortion. 

I am thankful that we are experiencing life in a very liberal American city! 


  1. I know all massive hey? Also, there's sugar in all these normal products where there wouldn't be in SA, like cans of tomatoes.

  2. Also, you are actually quite small.

  3. Love the lobsters! And yes, they hide sugar in everything. Check your bread 😀

  4. I also found everything in America super big. Not the people though ;) maybe because I am so tall as it is. Hehe and yes you are small! I also enjoyed the feeling of unconnectedness in dubai... Finding new spaces and people. So glad iris and Theo are enjoying their new school. X


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