Thursday, March 27, 2008
So I have been here for 3 1/2 weeks and there are some things that I have observed that I would like to share:
1) Many people wear shirts with English words on them. I saw this boy that was probably about 9 years old and his shirt said, "I'll give you the ride of your life." Does he understand what that implies?
2) Lays American Cut potato chips are soooo much better here than in the states! I eat them as often as possible. I don't know what the difference is, some people say they have less salt here but I don't care, they are amazing!
3) Car Alarms! So even more people have car alarms or more people break into cars here, I am not sure which it is. Probably both.
3) Micro. There is lots to say about micros. Micros are the city buses. First off, I believe the drivers are working off commission. So the more people they pick up, the more money they make. This can be good and bad. So you can get on the bus pretty much wherever, just flag them down. Usually they are pretty good about stopping where you want as well. However, the other day I went an extra 2 blocks which isn't usual. The bus drivers take advantage of students because we get discounted rates. It cost about 35 cents (US) for students. The drivers weave in and out of lanes. I would feel comfortable driving in this city if it wasn't for them. Also, if there aren't many people on the micro then the driver will go slower and sit at stoplights waiting for people. It is quite annoying when I am in a hurry or just want to be "home" already! Riding the micro is just an experience in itself, just wait till 5 in the morning :-)
4) So I have trouble understanding my family's ways. So my host mom moderately cleans the apartment quite often. Every day everyone's room is cleaned and beds are made. Laundry is done like 3 times a week. Clean clothes show up folded on my bed or put away in my closet if I am not here. My host mom goes to the gym in the morning usually, cleans, cooks lunch, and then tutors in the afternoon. Then my host dad works somewhere, still haven't figured that out, and then is a professor in the evenings. Sometimes he doesn't get home till like 9. Also, sometimes he takes the car, sometimes not. Then we have a maid that comes every 3 weeks and does like a deep clean. The kind of cleaning that we have like every other year at my house. She was here for almost 12 hours last time. My host dad usually is waited on from my host mom. Then he will leave his dishes on the counter. Its just so old fashion. However, when my host mom wanted to watch a movie on tv, he cooked (heated leftovers in the microwave) dinner for me. So I guess it is balanced? It is just really common to have maids here. There are so many people trying to make money in any way possible.
I love my host family though. Anytime I mention some kind of food I like, they go and buy it. My host mom bought me big earrings because she knew I liked them. She also told me I was special and different from the other girls they have had and I almost cried. I hope to get to know them better and stay in touch when I leave.
5) PDA (Public Display of Affection): Wow, so many teenagers are all over each other sucking each others faces all down the street. My theory for why is, kids don't move out of their parents' house until they get married so they have no where else to make out? Its just kind of disturbing when the couple in front of you close the window curtain and are probably just riding the micro for some "privacy"?
6) Like I said, people try to make money any way they can. Many people board the micro with some kind of product. The strangest I have seen were band-aids. They walk up and down the aisle once in case anyone wants to buy a band-aid at that exact moment. Another way to make some pocket change is to help people back out of a parking space onto a street. When my family and I went to church a man tied down cardboard to people's car on the front and rear window to block the sun. Then when we went to get in the car, he takes it off and you give him money.
7) Smoking is pretty big here. People say its a lot cheaper so more people do it. Even if it was free, I would not smoke. Also, a pack of cigarettes has pictures of yellow teeth and damaged gums to show you what happens after smoking. I don't think its working...
Keep the emails & comments coming. Feel free to come down and visit :-)