I Lost My Hat. / by Jaz Malone

It's not a great tragedy, but it's annoying. My ears are chilly.

First World problems aside, I'm nearing the end of my excursion. I soon won't need to process almost every sentence in French, then English, then French again. Thank the ancestors for multi-lingual French people. I'd be stuck without them as soon as my brain tired of constant translation, which is about halfway through every day.

I've been spending a lot of time doing the same things I would be doing at home: mulling over my life's direction, drinking too much coffee, etc. I suppose that's helped by the fact that people overseas fall into the same categories as anywhere else. The good, the bad, and the ugly all exist in their variations, as do the majority - the somewhere-in-betweens. I haven't posted my run-ins with these characters. It's not necessary. Humans exist. The end.

That said, I do have a few decent sketches to properly scan when I return. Two months is a long time for a sketchbook. Not long enough, à mon avis, but I can live with it. My family, and the connections I've made over the years, have been infinitely supportive of my mental and physical departure. It's overwhelming. The only thing to do with gifts is to pay them forward, which I try to do as much as I can. And it's best to remember and understand the bad moments, but live for the good surprises. "Guten pranken," as Jim from The Office would say...like the fact that my English is starting to sound like translated French. Actually, I haven't decided if I like that yet.

I can buy another hat.