(1) Life without electricity
This morning the electrity went out for a few hours. And I noticed that it’s been a long time since I’ve done just one thing at a time. And let me tell you, it’s not very pleasant. For example: I was reading for school and couldn’t distract myself my checking my e-mail or chatting on gmail. I was cooking lunch and had no music or TV to accompany me. It’s quite boring to be alone with your thoughts. 99% of the time I’m entertained — either by the Internet, my nook, a TV show, a steady stream of music — the time I actually spend thinking with no distractions is depressingly small. I suppose it’s pretty sad, but I’ve gotten used to needing multiple sources of stimulation in order to feel content/at ease with the task at hand. On the bright side, I finished my readings in an hour — with distractions, that task alone would have taken me at least a couple of hours and I wouldn’t have retained much of what I read.
(2) Things I like about my new neighborhood
a.) The view of the park outside the family room window
b.) The plethora of “specialty” shops that sell ONLY cheese, only, fruits, only ham, only beef, only fish, et cetera. The fact that I can buy several pounds of strawberries for the equivalent of US$1.50 and a one liter bag of yogurt for about US$1.25.
c.) That I’m one block away from the bus route and it takes me only about 12 minutes to get to work.
d.) That I’m one block away from La 53, a several blocks long avenue of handicraft stores. Once I get my first paycheck, I’ll be painting wooden crafts for everyone.
e.) Delivery service. Ok, this isn’t exactly unique to my neighborhood, but the fantastic thing about Colombia is that you can call the neighborhood “tiendita,” pharmacy or restaurant, and they will deliver to your door, for about 50 cents more than the store price. When you have to five flights of stairs to consider every time you go out, this is a pretty nice service. However, I should probably make the stairs effort as it’s pretty much the only exercise I get.
(3.) The perils of living together
a.) You don’t go out as much. Before you move in together, you have no choice but to go out, especially if both parties involved are living in their mom’s/grandma’s house. Plus, all the money that was previously spent on restaurants and alcohol is now spent on rent and utilities.
b.) My boyfriend doesn’t like my cooking. He tries to say it nicely, but I can still tell. I don’t think I’m much of a cook, but I don’t think I’m awful either. However, the only condiment my boyfriend seems to like is salt. He finds the use of garlic and pepper to be overkill, so as of now, my wide variety of exotic Wegman’s condiments are sitting in my cabinet, unused. While I think Colombian food is good, I find it somewhat bland and like things with a little favor (beyond vegetable oil and salt…) from time to time. We might need to start cooking separate meals.
c.) Keeping things neat. I discussed this in a previous blog. When you have two messy people living together, it’s not a situation that usually results in a spotless apartment. I’ve given up trying to keep the bedroom neat — now I’m just focusing my energies on the family room and kitchen. How do organized people stay so organized? When I get paid I will also have to splurge on a bookshelf and other organizational devices.
d.) Two people, one TV. My boyfriend and I have very different tastes in TV. I enjoy shows about crime, weird medical occurrences and hoarders/drug abusers. He enjoys shows about World War II, zombies, ghosts, and anything to do with the supernatural. I think we need another TV.