Alright, I'll admit it: I packed totally inappropriately. I'm sorry, so sorry, but I just couldn't bring myself to go out and buy the clothes I really needed for my life here. I did acquire jeans (something I swore I'd never do) and a few warm sweaters, but beyond that I could not. The hiking boots I knew I'd eventually need, the piles of hoodies, I just couldn't. You see, Slovenia is very much like the Bay Area, where I grew up. They are both full of hills and flatlands and small towns and suburbs unto slightly bigger urban spaces, but all featuring large wide open green spaces at nearly every turn. I believe that striking similarity was part of the charm of the place, the feeling of being at home, of course the languages are different and the culture is different but it's very very much the same. Unfortunately, the one place where I so desperately wish the two would diverge is the least likely: fashion.
Yes, you got it, people here dress like people in the Bay Area aaaaaaand I hate the way people dress in the Bay Area. Smart dressing there was all about layers, undershirt under t-shirt under sweater under hoodie. Blech! I have always been a fan of clean lines and I strive to wear clothes that are ever-more flattering to my figure. The bulky bulges and unsightly creases caused by layer upon layer of clothes never struck me as appealing, and so I would often find myself out with friends and either freezing to death or sweating profusely. I didn't care though, because I looked good.
My efforts to look stylish and well-put together got an even bigger boost when I moved to New York City, a fashion capital where even a short trek to the post office was cause to put on high heels and an extra layer of lip gloss. I occasionally spent days just poring through my clothes, trying new ensembles, seeing what worked, posing, posing, posing in front of the mirror. Oh, and I won't even tell you how many fashion blogs I subscribe to...So, naturally, it is much to my dismay that I have put myself in a situation where my pretty dresses and artfully created cardigans have no place. I can scarcely bring mself to look at mine when I open my closet here. For some reason, mouthing the words "I'm sorry" won't cut it, so I avert my eyes.
Yesterday the Captain and I went hiking and he took a few photos of me. Damn those digital cameras! The more I looked at the photos of me, sitting on a rock in flat sneakers, a hoodie, unflattering jeans the more irate I became. As the Captain extended his hand to me to come up to the top of the rock we were climbing, I folded my arms and refused. Not only was I deathly afraid to go any higher but I simply wasn't that girl. He folded his arms and a few minutes of stand-off ensued. Eventually he went on without me as I requested and I stood there and sulked. A few minutes later as he came back down the hill and helped me crawl down, he told me he was proud of me for coming so far up and facing my fear. Later that night as we sat outside in the garden drinking and laughing with our friends from the hood, the temperature began to drop and my body slowly turned into one solid ice block. I stood up and went inside and put on a layer of long johns underneath my clothes. So, it turns out we're gonna have to add an 's' and make that fears, I was facing fears.