Sunday, July 27, 2003

Settling in...

Hello everyone!

Just thought I'd send out another email this weekend while I have a moment. I'm really busy at school during the week, so I don't get as much time online as I would like, so please don't feel like I'm neglecting you! And I'm going to be getting some pictures developed this week, and then hopefully scanned in, so be looking for a website update by next weekend if all goes according to plan.

So far, I haven't gotten much studying done this weekend. I did review some grammar last night, but today I really need to get going on this language analysis assignment that's due on Wednesday. Right now I'm just sort of killing time in the internet cafe, then I'm going to pick up a few groceries on my way back home. And then it's homework all night for me. :-(

Last night I went to the grocery store for the first time because I needed to stock up my apartment. Knowing that I would have to carry everything home, I didn't want to buy so much that it wouldn't fit in 3 sacks at most. So, I felt confident that I hadn't put too much stuff in my cart. Well, I get up to the checkouts and I am the only person in the whole place with so much stuff. I was so nervous when I got up there and I have around 20 things, and everyone else has like 4 things. And of course there was only one check out lane open. So, the lady starts ringing everything through and I realize that I have to sack my own stuff, which is no problem, but the bags they have up there for you to use are the same as little sheer plastic produce bags! These bags aren't even as big as OUR produce bags (which would be small enough on their own). No, these are almost half the size! And I have a LOT of stuff to fit in these tiny bags!! At this point I was imagining having to juggle home like 15 of these tiny bags, and I'm thinking NO WONDER everyone has only 4 things--look at these bags!! So, I say to the woman (who does not speak any English), and mime to her, "Do you have a bigger bag?" lots of hand gestures...and eventually it comes to pass that they do have a bigger bag, like a plastic shopping sack with handles, and I can buy one for about a quarter. So, I got two, and then managed to put the rest of the stuff in three little produce sacks, which fit into my backpack. It was so absurd, and as I walked away, I could see that there was a line of about 10 fairly pissed off people standing behind me. Oh, but I did remember, THANK GOD, to weigh and label my produce before I got up there. There were two electronic scales, and above each was a sheet with pictures of all the different produce items. You put your sack of whatever on the scale, then you press the button with its picture on it, and then out would print a label with the weight and price on it. Quite handy, actually. Except, of course, if you go up to the one scale that isn't working, and you press all of the buttons on it in desperation but it still won't work, which is, of course, what I did. But, then a nice girl who happened to speak English came up and I asked her how to work it, and she couldn't make my scale work either, so we used the other scale and all was well. Whew! If she hadn't come up, I probably would still be standing there. But, at least there wasn't a repeat of the embarrassing "Apple Incident" in Spain, when we forgot to get labels!

Anyway, I'm really enjoying having my own apartment. It's fairly spacious, and gets a lot of light, so it has a very bright feeling to it. Especially around 5am when it gets light out and I am forced awake by all the brightness. Also, of course, there are no screens on the windows. I sort of forgot about this last night, when I sat with the windows open while watching TV (and of course I had the lights on), until it got totally dark. And when I went to close the windows, I happened to look up at the ceiling and noticed all the tiny little flies/what-nots that were hovering around the light. Great. So, I shut off all the lights in the apartment, except the one by the front door. They all migrated over there, and then I closed the kitchen door on them. Hah! :-) Yankee ingenuity! (or stupidity...guess it depends on how you look at it!)

Oh my god, I just about had a heart attack! I'm sitting here in this internet cafe, and all of the seats are divided by big wicker screens, so I can't see anything that's going on around me, plus I have my headphones on, so I can't hear anything either. And somebody brought their HUGE dog in here, and it just ran over here to sniff me out, and I didn't see it until it was literally brushing up against my knee. I just about had a stroke!! I guess I should be used to this by now, because people bring their dogs everywhere here, just like in Paris. You see them on the Metro, in restaurants, in shopping centers, everywhere. It's a little unusual, but I suppose you sort of ignore it after awhile.

Anyway, I need to get going to the grocery store. I hope you're all having a great weekend! Take care!

No comments:

Post a Comment