Second Day Panic

5 Feb


Hey, remember that time we moved abroad and everything was fine and dandy until I woke up in a different country and immediately panicked?

Yeah, apparently that’s a thing with me.

Seriously, I thought I’d have this whole thing down by now. Move to a completely unfamiliar place? Sure! Live in a country where you don’t speak a word of the language? Not a problem!

I went to bed last night exhausted but thinking I was really going to love Romania. I could already tell it was friendly, quirky and just a little bit crazy. We’d gotten in safely, played at a great local park, had a nice dinner that everyone ate (which, in our family, is a minor miracle), and watched the Lego Movie before getting everyone to bed at a decent hour.

Then I woke up. My back was killing me because the beds here are as rock hard as they are in Egypt. I’d had a weird night of alternating deep sleep and extreme wakefulness so I was a bit disoriented. Rhett woke up saying his stomach hurt but we figured it was nothing. We went down for a breakfast of bland cornflakes, and milk from a box (ah, memories of Cairo). Mid-meal, Rhett laid his head down on the table and moaned. I didn’t pay much attention, thinking he was jetlagged. Then he reared up and vomited an impressive amount of vomit all over the table and his chair. We grabbed napkins and started trying to get it and him cleaned up but it just kept on coming. There was a table of Romanians in the dining room with us (by dining room I mean tiny dark basement of the hotel/guesthouse we’re staying at) but they didn’t bat an eye at what was happening. I scooped Rhett up and carried him up the four flights of stairs to our room and deposited him in front of the toilet while I leaned against the wall and tried not to have a heart attack and thought about how I need to start working out again.

Anyways, long story short, poor little Rhett has been puking up any food or drink he even looks at, so he’s been flopped on the bed sleeping all day long. I’m slightly concerned that he’s going to sleep so much that he won’t sleep tonight but then I feel a little guilty that that’s what I’m worried about. Hopefully it’s just a welcome to Romania bug that will pass quickly.

So that on top of the back and the weird sleep and jet-lag. Around noon I patted the bed next to me and told Patrick to come sit so we could talk. I then proceeded to burst into tears. What were we thinking coming to this place where my children could get sick? They, the pickiest kids on the planet, had eaten nothing but a few crackers and juice since we left Texas. Not surprisingly, the airplane meals didn’t tempt them. Breakfast didn’t impress them either and suddenly I felt frantic that my children were not getting enough nutrition. What kind of parent am I, bringing my children somewhere where they wouldn’t get enough nutrition?? Also, in one of my periods of wakefulness last night, I was reading about the rampant credit card fraud here. Suddenly, everyone I’d seen seemed like a criminal. That friendly receptionist downstairs? Just waiting for us to step out so she could come swipe our stuff. The helpful and kind waiter last night? Totally buying an exotic massage using our credit card AT THIS VERY MINUTE.

I rambled on while Patrick listened patiently. He then gently and rationally answered all my worries point by point and suggested that I eat the Aero bar he’d picked up for me at Heathrow and take a nap. Yes, that sounds patronizing, but it wasn’t. It was exactly what I needed, much like the ice cream cone at McDonald’s in Cairo was exactly what I needed.

So Rhett and I spent the rest of the day curled up in bed while Patrick, Finn and Lucy hit the market and the park. We were a pretty pathetic sight. Not exactly the gung-ho adventuring that I’d imagined for our first day in Romania. But definitely needed, at least for Rhett and I.

Speaking of a pathetic sight, for your enjoyment, here’s a video of a very jet-lagged Rhett falling asleep at dinner the other night.


5 Responses to “Second Day Panic”

  1. LeAnn Mason February 5, 2015 at 10:51 am #

    Oh, my poor babies – all of you! But thanks, Melissa, for your vivid writing. I feel like I’m there with you, puke and all.

  2. boudicamason February 5, 2015 at 3:21 pm #

    Melissa, Patrick got that “gentle” and “rational” streak from me.

  3. liz johnson February 5, 2015 at 10:39 pm #

    Oh I’m so sorry. 😦 I really hope that things start looking up for both of you. If you need a Romanian nanny, I can always tell Chris that it’s a real emergency. I might have to bring my kids, but hey, the more the merrier?

    • charlesabouo February 6, 2015 at 6:33 pm #

      Hi Melissa, so I first read your blog about 8 months ago when I was contemplating coming to Egypt to play basketball there. I decided not too, but I was pleased to know there was a branch there just in case I ever traveled to see the pyramids. One of those bucket list type things. I was offered the opportunity to come play for Gezra Sporting Club for the months of February and March and I am currently in Cairo. It’s a lot different than I thought. I usually just hang out at Citystars mall, reminds me a bit of the US, I have been here for 3 days and to be honest, it is ok. I don’t mind it. My bed is terrible and caved in and Rock hard like you mentioned but hopefully it will be replaced. I am from Utah, BYU grad and LDS so It would be cool to go to the branch meeting on friday and meet some people. I do not live close to Maadi so I will make arrangements to go there next week via metro then taxi once I get to the Maadi train station. If you have the branch president’s contact info like an e-mail address or even some members, I would love to get it from you and maybe and contact them about church to see what other meetings they may hold weekly as well. – let me know , thanks. my email address is

  4. Amira February 10, 2015 at 4:27 pm #

    Melissa, I read your blog when you were in Egypt and I’m delighted to see you blogging again from Romania. This post brings back memories of the first morning I woke up in Kyrgyzstan 10 years ago when we went there on a Fulbright with two children. The horrible feelings just lasted a day (with a few exceptions when Kyrgyzstan got overwhelming) and we ended up going back to Kyrgyzstan for another year and a half a few years after the Fulbright. Life changing.

    I’m so looking forward to reading about your adventures!

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