Kje sem? Or, to put it in a less Slovenian way, Where am I?
Google translate helped me to dazzle you there with my multilinguality, but I knew it anyway. I knew it because I had been listening to a set of free language lessons for maybe a month before I got here. I thought it might be an easy-ish language to pick up because the very first word on the free language course was the number 1. Ena. The same as Greek. Whoohoo! I know a bit of Greek so this would be a doddle. Unfortunately, that's where the similarity ended. Oh, apart from (one way of) saying goodbye, which is adio -- same as Greek. So long as I constantly say goodbye to one thing, I'm home and dry.
I am wondering where I am in all manner of ways. Geographically I'm finding my way around the town and its environs. Each morning I take Tyson on a slightly different route around the town and slowly we poke and prod our way outside of it, filling my mental map and doing what humans do so well; extrapolating. Extrapolating is great for filling in the blanks of a mental map without having to go walk it. It's coming together, slowly. There are mountain peaks and a post office, ski-lifts and the supermarket, a crystal clear river and the place that sells electrical goods.
One reason for my delay in this post is Frank and Sally's absolute mania for being outside. They positively hate to waste a single moment in this environment and while they have a perfectly lovely home, they feel the need to be outside of it. We're going for walk, they say. I ask how far and they don't give me a distance, they give me a time. A couple of hours seems the norm. I don't want to punish Tyson's 12-year old suburban legs too much and I agree to go because 2 hours is ok, then find that we are out for half the day. We wander, detour, picnic, take photos and make impromptu stops to check an absent Englishman's boiler or some other oddity. At every turn I click my Android's shutter and am disappointed with the result. It is Narnia and Middle Earth outside my brother's house, and I want everyone I know to come see it. Where am I? I ask, and Frank tells me the names of places that all sound the same.
When we get home it's an elaborate lunch and then it's warm and cosy and then it's diner and then a bit of telly and then I'm chatting with Sarah when I should be a sleep and then...it all happens again the following day. I love it, but I have a feeling I shouldn't be doing so many enjoyable things.
A couple of days ago Frank said we could wander down the cycle path to Brod. Here's a 360. It's a nice cycle path.
Yesterday (Wednesday) we went on a major shopping trip. I like shops. I never buy much but I do like to see what I could buy if I was that way inclined. All I will tell you is that the stores are incredibly clean, well stocked, modern, and not at all busy. The cleanliness and modernity is what gets me every time and I'm not sure why. Also, while choosing your vegetables, whiskey, TV or wood-burning stove, you can see the Alps out the window. Wine is a quarter the price of wine in Narberth. I could go on. I shan't. Fly here and buy something. It's like Narnia and Middle Earth with cash registers.
So Kje sem? (the j is pronounced like y, FJI). Geographically I'm putting it together. Emotionally I'm under two weeks out and so it hasn't hit me yet. Financially I'm living with my brother and sister-in-law who have taken some money but not enough I don't think. We'll work it out. Still only half way to getting my first payment from book sales because Amazon doesn't pay out until you have made $100 or 100 pounds or 100 euros. I'm up to $44 so far. and about 7 quid. But the editors in London are gearing up and I have a few drawings done and few more to do. If it continues I'll have enough drawing work to keep me alive and to persuade the authorities to let me stay. I'm hoping that the Goodreads Giveaway has some effect on sales. Over 500 people have clicked the button to get the free copy, so over 500 people know it's out there.
Today we went for my first walk into the higher ground. Tyson was off and doing his own thing for a couple of hours and I could see the smile on his face. It felt so good to see it. We flirted with the snow line and the day was glorious. And then, Pooh-like, we all came home for tea.
Kje sem? I'm in Narnia. Or Middle earth. Or I might be dead, but in a good way.
[ps...Have you tried the Armchair Detective Challenge yet?]
Slovenia, writing, other things