2007-05-31 - 3:30 p.m.

It never ceases to amaze me...the results of minor decisions. Yesterday when I saw my Fishy Cat saunter across the doorway of the bathroom I was cleaning I thought, "I should close the doors now," because Eric was coming home at 6 to go grocery shopping with me and since the cat in the engine incident I don't just leave cats unattended anymore. And Fishy Cat is notoriously difficult to round up when it's time to be rounded. But you know, it was only 4 and I was scrubbing the bathtub and boo. So. So when it came time, of course she was no where to be found and Eric came home and we waiting for her but she was a no show and I decided that, no, I really couldn't leave with her outside still, even if it was only for an hour or so. My little decision to not just walk downstairs and close the door when I had her in the house caused a breach of plans and I know better...I know better. I used to be such a stickler for sticking with the plan that I wouldn't trade shifts with anyone for fear that I would get killed (or they would get killed) on the highway on the way to work.

Nevertheless...We didn't go grocery shopping and I started to like the fact that the plan was broken. Because I DESPERATELY needed three things...1. some independence, 2. some order and 3. a drive by myself so I could listen to loud music and sing if I wanted to. So I took Eric to work this morning and then set off to accomplish things. Accomplishing things is a wondrous tonic for my soul. It's been difficult to accomplish things here because we are a one car family and because of the siesta and poor planning and because of the fact that I am particular about food and that requires going to more than five stores in order to have everything just so. One of the few things I miss about working is the fact that I had a day off. My day off was so important to me that I would spend a lot of time in the days prior to my day off preparing. I would get all the needed groceries, cat food, gas in the car, rake my yard, wash windows...whatever needed to be done so that on my day off I would have nothing to do but read in the bathtub and take walks. I hated feeling guilty about doing nothing on my days off so I would have to have everything done. And that was great because getting everything done and having things in order is a fantastic feeling. No? ANYWAY. THAT was what I was trying to accomplish today. I was going to reproduce a day before the day off sort of day. So I went to the pet store, went to the health food store, tried to go to the vet to ask a question, washed the car and then got on the highway to go to the big grocery store. This took some consideration on my part. But I decided hey...I can listen to my music, I can save some money, I can get good beer and I can get more done at once if I do that. So I went. And I completed my shopping and got in the car and was driving down the service road to get to the highway and BAM!!! Someone runs smack into the side of my car. I've never actually been in a collision with another car before except for the time I rear ended someone on the way to high school one morning. So I was totally caught off guard. I have no idea what happened. I have no idea where she came from. I knew it was totally not my fault but I am still freaking out that I didn't see her. I've always thought that when I am driving alone I am very aware of what is going on around me. (I will admit to not being the best driver when someone is on the car with me, I get too distracted...or something.) So. My first accident and I'm in Spain and yeah, I managed to hold my own while talking to the lady in the coffee aisle today about different roasts of coffee...but fuck, I just got smashed into and the woman is freaking out and I can't understand a word she is saying and I have no idea what the protocol is for accidents in Spain so I kind of just waited to see what would happen. Eric was fortunately at the office and was able to ask someone what is supposed to be done and they directed me to fill out papers that are in the glove compartment and then you exchange these with the other driver. Easy enough-ish. So I fill out the papers and she is next to me filling out her papers and she was helping me where I needed help and then she told me we had to draw a picture of the accident and so we did, we drew identical pictures which clearly showed car A (her) hitting car B (me) and that car A was at fault because car B had not only the right of way but because um...I was on a straight road with no question that she should have been looking before pulling out. Then she paused for a moment and started talking rapidly to me. She was saying something about the fact that we had a leased car and that she owned her car and I told her I didn't understand what she was saying and so she explained again, something about paying this or that and then she said, "okay" and scribbled out the car a and b and changed the letters so that it was car b that was at fault and I said, "uh, no...I am car b and you are car a." And she said yes, yes that was so, but...and I just couldn't follow her so I told her to wait until Eric arrived. And then he arrived and she explained to him and she did, she did want me to take the blame and pretend that it was my car that had hit her because the kind of insurance she had only paid for the car she hits if it is her fault and not her car. (Her Land Rover, by the way...why would you get crappy insurance on a Land Rover?) So Eric calls a Spanish person to see if this is common practice and maybe it is but in our case we couldn't do that because it's not our car (it belongs to the plant where Eric works). I feel bad that she will have to pay for her car to be fixed...but damn.

Obviously this incident has sealed the deal, for me, and I plan to return to Michigan pronto. (by pronto I mean September.) I can't continue like this. I've had nothing but crap luck since I arrived here. Totally crap luck. And it would be okay...I know these things happen...but as it turns out I am apparently not emotionally equipped for living outside my comfortable spots. I need things to be my way and I spent two years living here thinking that eventually I would adapt to this life of chaos, but I haven't and I won't and at the end of the chaos day I just need things to be comfortable and that's just not possible unless I have my ducks in a row. Maybe Germany would have been more conducive to duck sorting...but I really don't think I will ever know. Because I just want to go home. I want to go home, I want my own car again, I want a house where I can plant things and know that I will see them the next year, I want to be able to paint walls without having to go through fifty channels of communication about it, I want to go to Meijer, I want to get a big coffee and sit in a bookstore, I want to get my fucking haircut and my eyebrows waxed. I want to make my own money so I can buy my fucking facial cleanser without feeling guilty about it, I want to buy things on sale and go to garage sales. I want to take long car trips by myself. I want to run out on Sunday morning for the paper without it having to be an ordeal. I want to drink good coffee. I want to see my brothers. I want to see my mother. I want to meet Amy's baby. I want to go to Iowa and have Nicole's husband make me blueberry pancakes and cheesecake while Nicole and I play rummy on the sun porch. I want to understand 100% of what is going on with my cat. I want brown sugar. I want to feel like I can accomplish things. Yes, that's the real thing. I want to feel like I can do something. I've done nothing but fail here and today was just the icing. You know, I try, for once, to get things organized and perfect so I can have a good weekend (because last weekend was the worst of my life) and I can't even get that done. I can't even go grocery shopping without something terrible happening.


Tomorrow is curry and beer night at the pub. I am counting the minutes. Oh, and we'll have to take the bus there because our car will be gone for a long time due to the fact that the entire side is bashed in and the wheel is crooked. At least I fucking washed it before it got smashed.


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