Scalpel's Edge

A surgeon's notes

Same Same

My life is surreal.  I sit, knitting and listening to music, listening to my children play.  It strikes me that I have lived this moment a thousand times, but all the details are different – like someone has erased the background of my life, and added in something completely different – an amazing movie special effect.

I live and work in a foreign country, one where everyone speaks at least two languages.  

People wear “ethnic clothing” every day, on the street, not just for special occasions.

My house has no air-conditioning, but we rely on fans and altitude to deal with the muggy heat.  Monsoon is on its way and everything is soaked and wet to touch – the sheets on the bed, the benches and the floor.

I live in a landlocked country and never go to the sea.

Last night there was a glow bug flying around our living room, flickering like a piece of foil confetti.  

The insects that my daughter cries at in the bathroom are as big as her hand.  We brazenly reassure her, until we go and check and gulp at their size.

I get kept up at night by mosquitos biting me, so I put insect repellant on before I go to sleep.  

I only really drink instant coffee, because I can’t be bothered brewing coffee before work.  The rest of the day I drink spiced sweet tea.

My mum and dad are so close – an email or a phone call away, but I haven’t seem them in forever.

From my bedroom window, I can see the beautiful valley below, blanketed by a thick cloud that looks like a white lake.

Sometimes I hear my patients cry out at night, and they wake me from sleep.

We regularly received parcels from home, containing vegemite, and jelly crystals, and stickers and dried fruit, and tic tacs and jelly beans.  We get really excited about these parcels.

We need game rule edits depending on nationality.  For example, in our version scrabble, a person must spell according to their national identity (colour vs color etc). And we have the international super-rules of UNO, incorporating all possible house rules.

Labour is cheap and imported goods are expensive, so my wardrobe is filled with made to measure clothes, even for everyday.  Even my kids have tailored clothes.

But my family and I are together and we have close friends, and distant friends and colleagues.  The kids have good days and bad days at school. I knit, they play minecraft, Luke reads the news.  Same-Same, but different.

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