There are more days than not that I feel lost here. So much empty time on my hands, so many unfamiliar faces.
But every now and then I'll have a moment. Like when I see the toothless grin of the Asian security guard. I know he'll wave to my dog as I pass through the lobby and open the door for us, and in that moment I'll feel a sense of comfort. Maybe not home but something like it.
I know that when the mail room door is closed that means the mailman is inside filling our post boxes with take-out sushi menus, and in two hours time hundreds of them will have been tossed into the recycling bin in the corner.
I know that at 10 p.m. I can stand on my balcony and see into my neighbor's living room. I know he'll be watching Two and a Half Men, and I'll stand there and watch it from across the quiet courtyard for a few minutes, trying to imagine what's being said and if it's funny.
I know the girl at the deli counter downstairs has a harsh voice but a sweet smile and will round down the total for me if I'm short on change.
I know that on a windy day Maple will have a spring in her step on her morning walk. As soon as we re-enter the apartment she'll skid across the hallway runner and tumble onto the living room rug. I know this won't phase her or lessen her enthusiasm for the day ahead, and that will make me laugh.
I don't know much about this country I'm living in. I may not even be sure I made the right decision in coming here some days. But when I think about what I do know - all the everyday, familiar things that have become fixtures in my new life - I can exhale and let myself be at peace for a moment. I know I owe that to myself.