September 14, 2010

Gulliver's Travels

We are officially on the other side of the world, and settling in as much as we can without our stuff.  The sea container left our house in Texas on September 1, so hopefully by Hallowe'en it will be here and things will be a little more normal and organized.  

This is always the annoying part of our moves... getting along (or 'camping' as Ted calls it) while we wait for the nuts and bolts of real life to catch up to us.  It's amazing how many things we take for granted until we don't have them.  Iced tea pitchers and clothes hampers, ironing board, files, reference books, tape, trash cans, hangers- all the minutiae of life that you don't notice until you don't have them.  

We resist the urge to re-buy things in the interim...

Meanwhile we are living with just the bare minimum of rented furniture and I'm cooking meals with two pans, two serving bowls and whatever utensils I could stuff in my checked duffel.  We will survive as we always do and this too will fade into memory like it always does.  

But why Gulliver you ask?  

Well.  As my nephew John is fond of pointing out, Indonesians are statistically a good deal shorter in stature than most people in the U.S..  Since I am about six inches taller than the 'average' American woman and Ted is about 4 inches taller than the 'average' American man, we now find ourselves giants in the land of Liliput.  

On the whole this isn't a problem, but a glaring exception is the kitchen.  My kitchen counters are 31 inches tall.  This is short for anyone in the U.S. (go ahead, measure yours, I'll wait...) but for tall people like Ted and me, this is laughably, unusably short.  

For your viewing pleasure, I include a picture of my scale model standing next to the kitchen sink.  


Please note that in order to sit on the counter Ted is not required to hitch his butt up onto it.  All he has to do is slide into place.  

And for laughs, you need to come visit and try to use our dishwasher... after living for three years without one in Africa, we decided the inconvenience coupled with the sink height would be a huge pain, and bought one for the landlord to install for us.  In order to make it fit, he had to dig four inches out of the kitchen floor.  Now to load it one must be able to arrange dishes while standing with one's head lower than one's belly button.

Thankfully, having noted the kitchen counter problem while househunting, I purchased a kitchen island in the U.S. and it will arrive with the rest of our things.  It will provide us with a few square feet of 36 inch high countertop on which to chop, dice, knead, and whatever else we like.  My back cannot wait.  

But lest you think Indonesians don't think big, I also include my scale model standing in one of the many doorways in our home...  

Once again I will say that Ted is taller than the average American male, and yet the door continues a good five feet past his head.  Like every door in this and almost every other house we looked at.  We have twelve foot ceilings with cupboards and cabinets that would be best reached with a library ladder.  

It's all very nice, if we could just levitate those kitchen counters. 


Marla said...

Hmmm, as a former geologist I usually use a rock hammer for scale but I like your prop much better! I miss you but am looking forward to following a blog from someone who always sees what is special in every situation.

Barbara said...

L~ So nice to have you back in the blogesphere where you belong! You have been greatly missed!

So, is there a nice halfway point between us? ;-) Long way to travel for a beer, I suppose. Maybe two beers. :)

Nena said...

Yeah! We get to be a part of your adventure again!!

J said...

Glad to see you're back to blogging!

Steve and Suzanne Buchele said...

So wonderful to read your blogs again. Only wish I was there to share in the experiences.

What I can't believe is that you were in Texas, where we have been back for the past two years (Austin).

Steve & Suzanne Buchele