Living in a foreign country, as with any new experience, comes with wonderful surprises, inconveniences and sometimes just down right annoyances. And of course, these list of things is different between every traveler. I adore living in latin cultures, but even these have their fair share of annoyances to me. Granted, not all latin countries are the same, but these are experiences that I’ve had in more than one, so while not all may be like this, certainly more than just one isolated place is.
I love the abundance of produce. It’s not that there are papayas and mangoes growing on every corner, but you can find produce everywhere because it’s so highly prioritized. You go grocery shopping and you buy fresh fruits, fresh vegetables and maybe 3 pre-packaged items like pasta or milk. I also love the need to walk places. It almost goes without saying that the people are just fabulous, and it’s so nice to live in countries where no one wears pajamas to Walmart. And I’ll admit it… I like being whistled at… there I said it! It’s a confidence booster.
Now there are a lot of things I can put up with and even from time to time enjoy. For example, random dogs and cats running wild everywhere you go. Sometimes I enjoy them and other times I can just put up with them. Also, washing my clothes by hand is hard work, but I can put up with it, because I feel so productive when I do it and there’s something about having bruises on my hands that makes me feel like I accomplished something. I am also alright with blasting music. Sometimes it acts as my own radio, and I have a talent at filtering out unwanted noises. And I don’t have too much to complain about food. I like food of all kinds, although I wouldn’t mind if there were some more international restaurants. But I can live without for a while. And I’m even ok being packed into a bus like a sardine. But these things are part of what makes it such a different experience. So overall I don’t mind that they happen, it’s part of the adventure.
Now there are other things I just see no need for, such as honking your horn at 5 o’clock in the morning. Yes, I should probably already be out of bed, but guess what, I’m not. And as long as I’m snuggled in my bed, I don’t want to hear your car announcing to the world that you’ve arrived to pick someone up. Go to their door and ring the bell. Not that complicated. Also, you’re cold, wearing a jacket even and WHY is the window wide open? Seriously, even if you don’t want to use a heater, capture some natural body heat in the room. And boy do I wish hot water lasted for longer than 5 minutes. It is just a good thing I’m single and the only one using this shower in the morning. Or else our marriage might not last through the morning. And I haven’t yet figured out why the metal fingernail file only seems to be useful once. I can barely get through 10 fingers before it’s just a smooth piece of metal.
Oh well, through the good and the bad I will survive and probably have a great time while I’m doing it. Although I’m sure all of my lists will grow amazingly in the next few weeks.