Same Same but Different


Same Same but Different
Same Same but Different

Some weeks, these random ramblings can almost feel profound (well, to me anyway). And then others, well, less so…

Same Same but Different

We’ve been here long enough now for things to start to have settled.  The adrenalin that got us all packed up and moved and settled has died down, and left behind is a kind of dull exhaustion.  Our world is mainly small, yet at 930 last night, after a really great day, we were done for.  Bed and a book. Rock and roll it isn’t! But then I remembered this great phrase that I came across when first travelling across Asia, a very, very long time ago. Same Same but Different.

Yes, my day’s order follows the same pattern as my old life. It’s a case of get up, make a cup of tea, get showered (with the aim of all of the above to be completed before the kids are ‘officially’ awake), get the kids breakfast, get them to school. Breathe… Go to work. Eat lunch. Collect kids from school. Make tea. Do homework. Get kids ready for bed. Put kids to bed. Breathe. Clear up. Prep dinner. Eat dinner. Wash up. Prep for next day. Sit (for a short while). Go to bed. Repeat.

I order my tall Americano from a Starbucks – and as always, they never give me quite enough cold milk.

I buy the majority of my weekly groceries online and they get brought to my door.

The kids life is still terribly unfair as ‘she got one more raisin than me‘ and ‘he had a longer story than me‘.

But somehow everything is different.  And the fact that everything is just that little bit different is exhausting. I think I might kill for a cup of PG Tips made with real, fresh milk – as opposed to my ‘will do’ cup of Liptons with UHT milk.

I knew Ocado was good, but I didn’t really appreciate quite how spoiled we were until now – when I can get tomatoes and avocados delivered (most times), but to get a decent slab of cheddar, I have to get the driver to take me to a large cash and carry type place about 20mins away, and hope that they have some not sold in Britain, British strong cheddar… And chicken? There are frequent and vocal WeChat conversations about PR disasters to do with whether ‘branded’ chicken is really what it claims to be… And how do I know? Really? How do I know what we can trust over here? How much should I be worried? What stand should I take? I’d just like to be able to get some chicken that I can cook that isn’t tough as an old bird..  I’d really like to spend less time thinking about food.

I’d love to be able to walk into a Starbucks, or in fact any coffee shop, and confidently order a drink – without wondering what exactly I’ll get. And how many changes I’ll have to ask for to get it ‘right’.

These are First World Problems – I am well aware of that. And so many could be solved if I had a basic grasp of the language, which I don’t.

So much as it sounds like a rant. It isn’t.  But it is the reason I’m cutting myself (& sometimes even Hubby) a little slack for the general level of exhaustion that has now set in.

So much is essentially the same.  Yet, somehow, it is also just intrinsically different.  And that takes a level of energy to manage.

Ah well, it’s just China

The flip side of Same Same but Different Coin is, ‘Ah well, it’s just China‘.  This is what keeps us smiling when logic has disappeared and we just need to keep moving forward.

Yes, we have filled our our life’s details to register the kids for half term camp – but is there a confirmation email with the salient details pinging it’s way to us? Probably not… ‘Ah well, it’s just…’

And OK, there is a specific lane marked out on the road for bikes and scooters, to make travel just a little, little bit safer for everyone – but, oh look, there are a whole pile of cars just parked in that lane…

It’s fine. In fact, it’s so much more than fine… It’s a great big adventure, on a daily basis, that is stretching us all, in all sorts of unexpected ways… And mostly we laugh.

Questions and Answers

Thoughts this week have been linked to the acceptance, or otherwise, of everything that the above brings up.  I’m not a religious person at all, but I do believe there is weight in the following:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

And now? To bed…

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