Someone said, learning another language is like gaining another life.

It is almost 9 years since I live in England, submerged in a language different from the one I spoke all my previous life, and I can expertly say, that the above idea is totally true.

Never in my life was I the one to enjoy being somewhere outside my own home for a lengthy period of time. Whenever my mother took me on a trip somewhere on holidays, it was at the most a week I could manage before starting to moan about going home. Therefore, it is absolutely not typical for someone like me to be happily settling in a foreign country and not wishing ever set foot back in the place of birth. But that is another story.

This morning I had a lovely meeting with a few friends, and one of them noted how remarkably well I merged with the aboriginal culture, and that started me on the trail of thoughts retracing that journey.

One way to look at it would be to view it as a completely new life I’ve started ever since I moved here. In a very rapid pace, I can mark some stages of my development similar to a development of a child. Almost always during this period I did feel like an immature idiot, hardly knowing her way around and being embarrassed for my dependency on Tim. Finally I think I can rationalize it in a satisfying way!

First year in England I’ve spent almost entirely home. That was all I wanted – just stay home, read books in English and watch BBC production films Tim provided me with. Occasionally being taken out on some more or less cultural events. That’s what you’d expect from an infant – sleep, eat, listen to people talking, watch them doing something, but not participate much…

The next couple of years there were a lot of little interactive bits to master – a step at a time. Like answering a phone, for instance. By the year three I was fairly confident, that I can understand the person on the other end and possibly even deal with the matter. The same applied to other interactive occurrences outside home – health visitors, GP, postman, neighbors, shops… The forth year was a joy! I felt wings behind me, like I am in control of my interactions with this particular world!

The culmination of that came with getting past driving test. Hurray! I can talk, I can interact, and I can get around the place. Marvelous!

I thought I push it a little further and actually try and express myself in a written form in a foreign language, as if it were my own. That’s where I am at the moment, and getting suspicious, that any time soon I might find it difficult to find the words in Russian.

With all that learning the first things about a different culture I put some unknown little part of myself on hold. It felt like I put English shoes on, and had to acquire an English posture, manners, accent to go with it… All of it voluntarily, of course. But the time came, when my feet say to me “Okey, we’ve learned to walk in English shoes. Can we have a run around bare feet now?” “Hang on”, – I say, – “why would you want to do that all of a sudden?” “We don’t know… Just feels that way.”

Right. Let’s get it clear now. Who are we and where do we want to go from here? Feet want to go bare. Head is enjoying the party and doesn’t want to leave just yet. Body is craving for the Sun. Soul wants to join the Universe already… We’ve got a major disagreement on our hands! Any suggestions? Nope. Just as I thought.

I might be approaching a teen age…