Well, I am here in these United States in the great state of Texas and feeling right at home like a fish in water. I did not have one bit of culture shock and took to Houston right away with its busy downtown and its spacious freeways. Actually, I think this would be a very nice place to retire to and I very easily can see myself do it. We've done a bit of driving around and I like what I have seen of the different neighborhoods, though I must say that I am on the nice side of town. That does make the views a lot more pleasant to the eye.
I am completely enjoying the company of my small family in every way and every moment of the day that I can and this is even better than I anticipated. It all happens so naturally and without effort and constraint. Yes, being related to people in whatever way possible does make a difference in how you approach them. You do have an instantaneous bond with them. Especially when they also look like you.
I have forbidden everyone to pronounce my name the English way, because that is not who I am. They have to pronounce it the Dutch way and introduce me that way to other people too. It turns out that no one has any problem with this at all and that nobody trips over the pronunciation of my name. If I had only known this sooner. I never liked going through life as Eye-reen.
This morning my daughter and I went to the Soto Zen Buddhist Temple which is located in a beautiful Craftsman's house in an old renovated and upscale neighborhood in Houston. We did a twenty minute meditation session and listened to a talk by the Sensei which was wise and humorous. During my meditation session I had a talk with God and asked him some questions and after awhile got the answers. I was very grateful for that. It made me straighten my shoulders and my back.
Yesterday, my ex and I went to a very exclusive shopping mall which was enormous and in which all the shops and department stores were very expensive. Even so, the people who shopped there were not very well dressed but I was one of them being European. I guess there is a difference in what we consider dressing casually at both sides of the globe. I did get a very nice Christmas present from my ex in the form of a wonderful watch because mine got trampled on and broken during the security check in Atlanta, which is something I did not notice until I got to Houston.
No doubt I will enjoy myself very well here and I will report this as I get the opportunity. We are going Christmas shopping later today and then out for dinner. Hurray!