Week, month, year, whatever. I am heading off to Amsterdam this evening for New Year’s festivities, though I assure that all of the activities will remain military friendly. I particularly assure anyone from my unit who might be in charge of the next urinalysis who may be reading this…
So I suppose it is time for the age old year in recap, as is tradition (not really).
Started out the year on a plane in Dar es Salaam airport en route from Kilimanjaro back to the States. They played that new year song and had fireworks on the little TV screens. I had my foot up and was just beginning to observe that it was turning rather greenish and wondering who on board might be eating almonds. Then I realized they didn’t serve almonds on my flight and the smell was coming from my sneaker.
Fast forward through the festering wound stage and I got to see my husband for two months, the longest period of time we had seen each other since 2004. My cats grew steadily fatter and were over the weight limit for my move to Germany in May so they had to stay behind, where I am convinced they ate the landlord and were starting on that annoying kid down the street who always starts mowing the lawn before making sure you wanted it mowed and even had the money to pay him. He was just like those windshield washers outside of the Lincoln Tunnel during rush hour that you have to dodge around and if I wanted it washed I could do it next time I got gas. I gave the cats the kid’s picture.
I moved to Germany. I realized that no one can ever make fun of a New Jersey, New York City, or Boston driver until they have competed with the likes of the German people. Not only do they all drive superfast station wagons that may cost more than my apartment, they are also very aggressive and get very uppity when you are aggressive back. They also have a shorter range of personal space than we do and either do not understand or simply have nary a care for the concept of a queue. The proper way to get something done is to muscle your way to the front and point at what you want. Fewer questions that way, and you don’t look so foreign.
I have been to Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, Romania, Belgium, briefly to Switzerland, and now (impending) to Holland. Most of them look just like Germany, actually. Small town, church on a hill, all set in the countryside with a pretty and usually mountainous backdrop.
I got a cat. She is moderately brain damaged, I believe, and is currently napping in a cardboard box instead of in her carpeted kitty tower, cuddled up with the lining cut from a bra and an old hair elastic and ignoring the toys purchased specifically to please her.
I’ve started learning Arabic, at least reading and listening and just a bit of speaking. I know how to say “black car.” All I need now is “three men, AK-47, sandals, and ski masks” and I will be all set to blend seamlessly into the culture.
The holidays were largely spent watching first season episodes of MacGyver which my sister sent to me in a box set. It has given me the strangest dreams for the past few nights, and while I seem to get kidnapped by The Terrorists every time, there always happens to be a nail, a gum wrapper, and a rubber band nearby to make good my escape. It has been a Very MacGyver Christmas this year, and would be a Very MacGyver New Year if it weren’t for this gallavant to Amsterdam. My friends ran an intervention. I was tucking in my tee-shirts and considering cutting my hair into a mullet.
Ah well. Another year where a lot happened and yet very little happened. Most years tend to be like that, it seems, and I am not complaining really. I should, however, remember to purchase more hair elastics for the new year… not only do they please the cat, but you never know when The Terrorists may snatch you up…