Fitting in

My black leather coat is still indispensable in winter. When it rains or snows, nothing keeps me dryer and warmer. But somehow, I don’t really feel comfortable in it when the winter weather is cold, but yet dry and sunny. Especially not in combination with the sort of Russian hat that I bought in Holland years ago. Here, only men wear this combination of clothes. Normally, I don’t feel too much need to fit in, but now I slowly slowly felt the urge to wear something a bit more feminine. So when I was shopping and saw a knitted sweater that came down almost to my ankles, and with a hood, I couldn’t resist buying it. A Turkish friend said it looked good on me. I completed my outfit with a wool hat. It came with a matching shawl – usually I get irritated by matching things, but many Turkish women wear a matching hat and shawl, so now that I was trying to fit in a bit more, the combination seemed a good choice.
Today I realised that my fitting-in operation succeeded. Waiting at a bus stop, a man started a conversation with me about bus routes and timetables. I didn’t understand him exactly, as my listening skills seem to be still under-developed. I asked him to repeat himself more slowly. ‘Oh, I didn’t realise you were a foreigner’, he said. And now I’m confused. Should I be happy that I fit in, or unhappy that I don’t fit in?

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