Monday, September 3, 2012

Pieces of Learning

-Everything from socks and underwear to towels and sheets are ironed here.  It seemed insanely meticulous until we learned that flies lay eggs in wet clothes drying on clothes lines.  The ironing is not to straighten things; it is to kill the fly larvae.  It must be done to everything, much to the horror of my two year old and his newly-washed stuffed puppy.

-Speaking of eggs, eggs here are never refrigerated. Not at the grocery store, and not in people’s homes.     People keep their eggs in cabinets here, despite the fact that there are egg spaces in refrigerators here, too. 

-Birds of Paradise flowers are everywhere.  I can’t control myself; I walk down the street and keep estimating how much they would cost if I were buying them in a US flower shop.  We have had at least one cutting of them in the house since the day we moved here.

-Shopping bags are a luxury. Many stores do not provide them; those that do charge for them. 

-It is very consistent.  No matter what time of year, there are approximately 12.5-13.5 hours of sunlight. Parties often start around 4:00 in the afternoon so hosts can have some hours of daylight outside before people need to go home. Likewise, things start/open very early here to make use of the sunlight. Schools most often start between 7-7:30 am, and shops most often open between 7:00 and 9:00 am.

-Drunk driving is a huge problem in our city.  It is advised that people never go out after dark. But that’s okay; 6:30 pm here feels like the10:00 pm we just left in the US.  Things are pitch black at 6:30 and hardly anyone is out.

-“Teatime” is sometime between 9:30 am and 10:30 am here.  For most low income locals, it is like a snack time consisting of tea with bread and butter.  For higher income individuals, it is a snack time with tea and treats like muffins, bars, and specialty breads. Lunch then usually happens sometime between twelve and two.  It is followed from 3:00-4:00 by another tea time.  Does anyone work around here?!

- The country has amazing fresh fruits and vegetables.  However, we can’t find a green or yellow banana to save our lives.  Every American we've talked to is desperate for a banana.  Oh, there are bananas here for sure. In fact, there are carts people push around the city selling only bananas. But they are all sold brown.

Score!  The yellowest banana we've ever seen in this country.  We took a picture for some friends.  Who would believe us?!