Don’t put lotion on right before you go out. Your legs will turn black. I looked down one afternoon after taking a quick jaunt to somewhere and I had black streaks up and down my legs. I think the streaky part was from my random habit of standing like a flamingo. but there was definitely a layer of dirt underneath. Tip: let the lotion soak in.
Normal water. I’ve found that it’s such a relief to just drink the water from the tap. After a week or more of only drinking bottled/boiled water I got slightly dehydrated…enough water in makes for less stress. The water here is ok to drink. But it takes a little getting used to because it apparently has more minerals and chlorine than we might be used for. Also, for the first couple weeks I noticed that the water smelled strange and everyone here smelled like the water. but alas I think have given in to the trend and I don’t notice it anymore.
Skype is nice to have. I have spent undue amounts of time on it with certain people. Well. I suppose it might be due. It’s a good thing.
Heat – it’s soooooo hot here!! It’s only around 85-88 daily with 92 ish getting the hottest day of the year award. This wouldn’t be bad in Idaho. Hottest day can be/has been a good deal higher than that (I remember one around 107?) but here. There is a bit more humidity and that makes for a little less comfortable heat. It’s interesting.
So in the middle of my third week here I finally found out the proper way to kiss…not kiss. Hold your horses. But the little greeting touch cheeks and kiss the air with a little bit of sound effect. I’d been having some awkward moments with this…imagine you’re walking down a narrow hallway and someone else is walking in the opposite direction. You each need to move to one side to get by, right? you move to the left (for some strange reason, going against the norms) and the other person doesn’t move. just waits for you to move back when you realize they’re not going to give way about 1 foot away. Now imagine that. But take the distance down to about 4 inches. faces. strangers. kinda awkward. But it does make you pay attention right quick that there just might be a right side of the road or wrong side of the road for such things. There is. lol. I realized that you only touch right cheeks. never left. so I lived through that baby shower all right. Later I asked an american about it and she said that’s right only right cheeks. If you offer your left it means you’re mad at someone. If you don’t kiss at all it means you’re stuck up. good to know! :D
Stiff and cruchy jeans. Yup. Electricity is super expensive here, thus my jeans have been hung out to dry. Which would be very fine except that one pair doesn’t fit unless I put them in the dryer. hmmm suck it up? ask for dry privileges? or just wear them when I get home?
Movies and media…yeah. I’ve given in. Decided I was bored and in need of a chick flick. Started searching things and found out Hulu and Netflix don’t work out of the states. Luckily there’s a free site here that does work. W00t. I shall avoid giving in too often. But sometimes you just need to veg.
Pan de Pascua/Navidad. Easter/Christmas cake…yum. I’ve fallen in love with the stuff. My host mom is tired of it. She’s been given three loaves in the last month. It makes me happy. I think it must be a little like fruit cake, except a lot more moist and fresh and rich. (I’ve never had fruit cake that I remember so I’m not sure.) It’s definitely cake though. sweet. heavy. yup. delish. Also it’s interesting that they just switch out pascua(easter) and navidad (christmas) almost interchangeably. Here’s a recipe that looks like it might produce something like I’ve been eating. But I’m not sure. I’ll have to experiment when I get back. http://www.nuevoanden.com/recetas/recpascua2.html
I realized recently that instead of doing the normal “come” signal (palm up and pointing a little center, bent fingers pulling in) my host mom does it “upside down”. Palm down. still bending fingers towards herself, but upside down. It looks like how a baby learns to wave goodbye except it’s about waist level. Very funny. so the “bye” sign equals “come”.
So I’ve been trying to rationalize sitting around a doing nothing. But I’m convinced I could go insane if I didn’t, so I think that’s a good enough reason. I’ll enjoy my four months of taking in chile gradually. :)