Today I have not had any internet in our house. All day. Not a bit. How am I feeling about that? Surprisingly calm, which made me think about what I could write to you about next. You see, back home if my internet went off I’d have some sort of conniption. ‘What’s happened! OMG! How can I only check emails on my dodgy phone!!‘ A few weeks back the thought of not having internet was too much to cope with. So much so that I had a meltdown to SB about how it needed to be installed before we moved into the condo just to make sure I was not totally cut off from the world. ‘As if I’m not feeling isolated enough!!!’ To which SB beautifully responded the next day by having the person at his work who seems to sort stuff out, sort it out.
So today in my lack of concern, I have given thought to how I am adapting to life here and I thought I’d write about how life is these days. We are two weeks into living in our condo, and four weeks into life here so things are settling down somewhat.
Top 10 ways I know I’m adjusting to life here:
1. I don’t mind dirty hands. There was a time I was losing it every minute over grotty hands. Everything here is filthy, dirty hands are unavoidable. Yet somewhere along the line I stopped making an issue out of it and just relaxed. It is ok to have dirty hands sometimes. I don’t want my children developing OCD tendencies because of my germ phobia so I have stopped making them wash their hands before touching anything and everything.
2. I live harmoniously (sort of) with the ants. There are these teeny tiny ants here. I can’t see where they come in but they are tenacious crazy things. Within minutes of leaving any food source on your bench they have swarmed. So teeny tiny a simple wipe with a dishcloth removes them, or a rinse under the tap. So crazy that today as I had a pan on the stove with boiling molten hot melted sugar, butter and honey in it, the ants were climbing up the pan to get in to taste the sweet goodness I was baking. When we moved in I freaked out about them. Now I accept them as part of my day. I don’t like it, but I deal with it.
3. I accept hand washing as a way of life. Back home I had a dishwasher. Don’t get me wrong I did a lot of hand washing but for the most part I had the dishwasher do the work. Not here. It’s hand washing all the way. It has taken a few weeks but I finally figured out why my dishes were not washing so well. I’ve always filled my sink with hot water and detergent. I finally read the fine print on the bottles here and they are concentrated. The way to use is to put onto your sponge or the dish and wash directly. So now I wash under a running tap. It is quicker, more efficient and my dishes are cleaner.
4. I’m in love with my front-end washer/dryer. I have never been big on the clothes dryer option. Why? Where we lived most days of the year, give or take a few, clothes dry just fine out in the fresh clean air. Here not so much. The humidity puts a dampener on things – literally. I insisted on getting a washer though, instead of relying on a laundry service. With kids, you need access to quick washing. So we got the combined front-end loader washer/dryer. I can now say I’m a convert. How good is it to not have to worry! Clothes dry and if you time it right you get them out, give a shake and hang up – no ironing required!! Oh and the added benefit of a front end loader is the entertainment factor for the children. They love to sit and watch it go round and round and round.
5. I respect the electric stove and oven (or ‘cooker’ as it is referred to here). I have always been a cooking with gas girl. We are only allowed to use electric here in our estate so I was a bit miffed about that. This alien stove was delivered and installed and then we had a rough ‘getting to know you’ period. Now, we are like old besties from way back. I can absolutely see the benefits of the electric cooker now.
6. I don’t mind taking out the rubbish. I have never enjoyed it, I have always felt it was a ‘man’s job’. That is not meant to sound sexist, it is my way of delegating the task to my husband. The reality is I take the rubbish out a lot. Now we are in a condo we have this whole rubbish shute thing going on. I’d only ever seen them in the movies, usually with dead bodies being shoved down them. Thankfully ours isn’t big enough for that. Initially I thought having to take the rubbish up the hall was a pain in the bum. Now it’s a bit of fun for the children and me. Each child carries something – if they can. Otherwise they run and scoot up the hallway, open the door and excitedly watch the rubbish disappear. I’m happy I don’t need to remember it’s bin day in the morning.
7. I’m hooked on beer delivery. We can have beer delivered to us, here at home. WOW. That is not a service we had back home, and now that we have experienced the joy of wishing for a cold one and within an hour having it put in our hands – without having to change out of our jammies. Gold.
8. I’m not afraid of the water. On arrival here I was so paranoid about the water. I didn’t want the children eating fruit unless it was washed in fresh water first. It’s been a few weeks now and while it still pays to be cautious I have learned that the tap water is not as nasty as first thought. In fact I met an expat last week who drinks it! (we won’t be going that far, but it’s good to know)
9. Places are becoming familiar. As we go out and about I have started to feel that sense of familiarity. The kind you get in your place when roads and landmarks are recognizable. Last weekend I was even able to tell a taxi driver how to get me home without the use of google maps because the bad weather had made the internet go down (ho-hum).
10. I can contribute. We have a fabulous Facebook page here where you can ask any question about anything – where to find products, recommendations, advice etc. I know stuff now so I have been able to respond. This helps me feel a sense of normalcy, and almost like I’m starting to fit in. That shops and locations are becoming familiar is a comfort I like. Now I can plan my shopping days better, more efficiently.