Figuring things out – one step at a time

What an adventure it has been thus far! I am grateful for a number of things – particularly – my amazing husband, Mike, who is much more brave than I when it comes to figuring out the language and how things work around here. We now have running water in the apartment (hooray for showers!) and our apartment owners are wonderful. The daughter (Pao) speaks English – so it’s handy for us. When the plumber came in on Saturday to say he was going to fix something, Pao was not here yet and Mike wanted to tell him that he just wanted to go to the washroom before the guy got started. Whoah, was that ever funny! Mike was trying to explain to the guy (who doesn’t speak a lick of English) while I was running around trying to find the words in the dictionary. In the end, we just used hand gestures, lol! The guy laughed at us – but at least he understood.

A few things I want to point out that are a little different around here (besides the language of course):

  1. Single-pane windows: There is no need for double-pane due to the great weather, but boy, I miss the double-pane windows back home. You can hear everything outside – people talking, cars going by and alarms going off. I suppose it’s just as loud as Mike’s snoring so at least I can sleep through it ;)
  2. Water taps: I am not sure how to explain these things but I will try. It’s one handle, and you turn it on a little for warm water and stronger for cold water. Mike says to think of it as it taking longer to warm up when the water is on strong – therefore it’s cold water. The taps are electrical. They also look funny. I’ll have to send a pic sometime.
  3. Grocery stores: Reading the labels is interesting, but we’re figuring it out. The funny thing is, when you go to the check-out to pay, people just leave their carts by the conveyer belt – and not in any orderly fashion either. You have to push empty carts out of the way to get to the check-out. Bizarre.
  4. Food court meals are actually good: We live about a three minute walk from Plaza Granados – a shopping mall that has a grocery store and about a dozen shops. We were talking to Pao (our English-speaking apartment owner) and she said that the best food is from the food court. We found that hilarious…but after tasting…it’s true! We’ve had traditional food – salted pork on fluffy white corn, fried corn, cheese and potato soup, avocado and tomato. Yum! We even bought the fluffy white corn at the grocery store, since we liked it so much.
  5. People wear shoes in their houses: This is the case for our apartment at least. Everyone who has been here hasn’t taken their shoes off – something to get used to for this clean-freak girl.

We are very lucky that people are helping us out where they can and we look forward to starting our Spanish classes. We’ll be taking them everyday from 8:30-10:30 am and then working from 10:30-on at the office at Lead Adventures. Sounds like the job is going to be fun. I’ll learn more soon.

We didn’t do too much exploring this weekend (just in our area), but we hope to next weekend. One step at a time, I suppose.

It’s time for me to sign off. I think I’ve babbled enough for one day. I hope all of you are well!

Adios!

Shawna

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