Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Stuff I Love in the U.S.

1. Electricity. Except for a brief flicker during a thunderstorm, it's on all the time. All the time, I tell you! Seems excessive, doesn't it? Here's a conversation I had with my son:

Son: Mom, I want to watch a DVD.
Me: OK, we'll see, maybe later.
Son: But Mom, is the power on?
Me: Yes.
Son: Then I'd better watch it now, before it goes off!
Me: Well, in the United States the power doesn't go off, so you don't have to worry about that.
Son: WHAT?!

2. Restaurants. Where I live, there are good restaurants too, just not so MANY of them, and not so much variety of kinds of food. You know how some people have monthly or even weekly date nights? My husband and I try to go out without the kids at least once a year. So far we've had two dates since we've been in the States! Oh yes. This is the life!

3. Laundry. I posted about this two summers ago. All the things I said there about why I love doing laundry in this country still apply, with the addition that the washing machine we used to have at home hasn't worked in about a year, so now all our clothes get washed by hand. If washing by hand suggests gentle sudsing in Woolite, forget it. These clothes are scrubbed. I mean, they are CLEAN. And then they are hung on the line to become board-like. I don't understand why people complain about doing laundry here, since it is so easy and fun. I have to stop myself from doing laundry every day.

4. Exercise. It is easy and fun to exercise here. (See the easy and fun theme I'm developing?) At home I get up at 5:30 to walk, and if I do it much later there are loads of people on the street to look at me. Even at 5:30 there are people on the street but usually not too many. Here, there's hardly anyone out whatever time I walk, and if someone is out it's usually an exerciser like me. It isn't weird to exercise here. Not only that, but in this town there is a beautiful walking trail complete with baskets of flowers hung at intervals! What could be lovelier? Rarely (OK, never) is there a goat or a stray starving dog or a dead rat. Of course, exercise is more crucial here than at home (see #2).

I could go on, but I won't. I know full well that the fact that life seems easier here is in a large part because I'm on vacation and not immersed in my regular life and its problems, and that life is just as complex and stressful in this country, and in some ways more so. There are just different stressors. I also know that I love my regular life. Really, I do.


Amy said...

So, uhm, when will you be swinging by my house to do some laundry ... ?


Enjoy your "vacation" all you can!

Amy said...

Oh, and I've heard vinegar works as a fabric softener. I don't know if that's something readily available in Tecwil, but it might be worth a shot if you're trying to cut down on the scratchiness.

Anonymous said...

Oh, this is great! I love the board-like clothes, and the once-a-year dates. (That's about our average, too. On our anniversary.)

I dry our towels and sheets on the line, and the towels are indeed pumice-like the first time you use them.

May you have an easy and fun rest of the evening!

Anonymous said...

You certainly help put things in perspective for those of us who live with virtually unlimited electricity and water. It is so easy to take those things for granted after years of having them abundantly available.

I am glad you get to take time away from Tecwil and can enjoy all of these little things that add up to so much. You comment about exercise certainly took me by surprise. There is such a culture of "be sure to exercise" in the developed nations that it's hard to think of how that would look in Tecwil.

It is always a joy to look at life through your eyes. Thank you for sharing.