Saturday, December 3, 2011

Estamos acostumbrado a...

We are accustomed to...

For better or worse, we are now used to the following:
  • Looking both ways before crossing a one-way street
  • Hedges of blooming star jasmine that stop me in my tracks with their amazing fragrance
  • The best home-made lemonade ever, with mint or coconut or just plain (it's green - there isn't an actual lemon in the country)
  • Pulling out my cedula (national ID card) for the simplest, even cash, transactions
  • Massive thunder storms and gulley-washing rains
  • El trancon! The traffic!
  • No warmer than 67; no colder than 50
  • The flowers and plants that were blooming in July are still blooming in December
  • Thinking about what time of day it is before greeting someone (buenos dias, buenas tardes, or buenas noches)
  • Heavily armed soldiers on the street corners, under every overpass and in front of any building with a gov't official living inside
  • Scented everything (for example: vanilla-scented trash bags, cinnamon-scented floor cleaner, pine-scented toilet tank tablets)
  • Seeing street performers stacked three high juggling fire batons in front of the line of cars at the red lights
  • The nicest malls with the best food courts I've ever seen
  • Beautiful leather goods, especially shoes, boots and handbags
  • Military funerals in process each time we walk by the chapel at the batallion near our apartment and realizing that these young men are still losing their lives fighting guerillas/FARC/narcotraffickers every day 
  • No bugs
  • Appreciating the breaks of sunshine all the more when they come
  • Getting second looks in stores and on the street for being a gringa; having store owners call out the teenager who speaks English from the storeroom when they see us walk in
  • Chit-chatting with the friendly porteros (doormen) and doing our best to understand what the heck they're saying
  • Realizing that we're on a different continent
  • Christmas starts before Halloween
  • Buying OJ, milk, sour cream, mayonnaise and ketchup in a bag
  • Delicious fruits we'd never before heard of or seen
  • No national (functional) postal system!
  • In general, people wanting to try to speak English with us, as they can
  • Every radio station playing latin music (really?)
  • Sun rising and setting at the same time all year
Looking forward to adding to the list!

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