Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Junk Drawer of our Mind

Emptying out the junk drawer of our Minds
1)      Tons of things are sold in plastic bags and not the sealable ones (Cut fruit, uncut fruit, water and Juices). Sooooo, all these bags are tied tight. I’ve got Cro-magnon fingers and can’t untie any of them, Thank God I have Dianne.
2)      When you buy gas, you stand close to the attendant while he does it and make sure he puts the gas cap back on. I’ve been told; some of the attendants steal and re-sell them.
3)      Sooooo, in many of the public bathrooms and even in some restaurants and business the toilets don’t have seats. When I asked why, I was told they were stolen. How the heck to you steal a toilet seat without anyone knowing? I know that desperation causes people to do lots of things but stealing toilet seats???????????????
4)      Speaking of public bathrooms if they have toilet paper, many of them have dispensers near the sinks, that’s not to dry your hands, that’s your toilet paper. Grab some before you do your business or your S#*t out of luck. Excuse the pun.
5)      When going out always carry some tissues with you in case there is no toilet paper wherever you visit. Or again, you might be, see the pun in #4
6)      Before going to stores learn the phrase “Solo mirando”, it means only looking. Down here as soon as you enter a store a clerk is going to ask you what you want or do you need help. A quick Solo mirando, gracias, does the trick.
7)      When people stop at your house to say hello or when they see you outside and come over to say hello. You immediately get out your plastic chairs and offer them a seat, a drink and something to eat. It’s rude if you don’t.
8)      When you ask, how are you, como estas usted (don’t forget the usted) down here, unlike in the U.S., you actually mean it and be prepared to listen to peoples sickness or bad day. We care down here and we share are problems.
9)      If you come to visit during the right time of year in El Maizal, we have black moths that are huge and you’d swear they are bats, please don’t freak out. By the way, we have bats too, try not to freak out when they come around.
10)   The big red ants are creepy looking but don’t bite, it’s the darn tiny ones that bite the heck out of you. Don’t freak out
11)   We have Geckos like you read about. They are totally harmless and eat tons of bugs but they can startle you running up and down the walls. Don’t freak out
12)   If you’ve followed our facebook pages you’ll know we have Alacrans too (scorpions). Just move away before you “Freak Out”.
13)   If you’re on the bus and see someone holding something that looks like a bunch of crabs and they’re selling them. That’s what it is.
14)   When waiting in line for the bus, when the bus pulls up you find out you weren’t in a line at all, it’s every man, woman and child for themselves. You’ll be pushed to the pavement by that Grandmotherly woman behind you before you can say excuse me.
15)   At the sign of peace get ready to shake everybody’s hand. At large services, it’s a workout.
16)   You think we talk fast in Espanol. Wait till you pray with us. By the end of the Credo Niceno, you’ll be trying to catch your breath.
17)   In some showers and sinks there are 2 faucets, the one on the left is Cold and the one on the right is, wait for it>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Cold. We call it refreshing.
18)   When you’re on the bus and it looks like you literally most climb over people to get on and off. Well, yes that’s what we all do and nobody gets mad. You can’t either.
19)   We found out where all the old school buses in the United States went to die. You have 3 guesses the 1st 2 don’t count.
20)   Here’s the main driving tip for down here. You must drive very aggressively but always in a careful way.
21)   Once they found out I was an accountant, all the guys have assumed I don’t know anything about manual labor. It’s funny at first but gets tiring fast. I do know how to shovel and rake without instructions by the way.
22)    Everybody loves us and wants to help us but sometimes you do feel like saying “Leave me alone”.
23)   The metric system is in full use here. Gas is by the liter, soda is by the liter, we travel kilometers and the land is measured in Hectares. But, go buy some Chicken, beef, rice or beans, it’s by the pound?????? Go figure.
24)   You know the dollar coins that we refuse to embrace and use in the U.S.? That’s all we use here, I don’t remember the last time I’ve seen a dollar bill.
25)   Since we’re on money. Even though many things can be bought with change, pennies just don’t get used much.
26)   Buying margarine that doesn’t require refrigeration take some getting used to. The yellow dye and the fact it only melts at very high temps is also very different.
27)   I’ve never so many varieties of Tang in all my life. It’s not just orange. You can get it in Cinnamon, passion fruit and tropical flavors we’ve never heard of. There’s even a milky sweet one.
28)    I think I’ve died and gone to heaven because in the Campos, hot dogs seem to be one of the staples and they are individually wrapped. If you haven’t figured it out, I love Hot Dogs
29)   If anyone ever offers you Pacaya, just say NO. Don’t think, Hmmm that sounds exotic, Hmmm maybe just a taste. We’re telling you right now, say NO.
30)   Our personal record for passengers inside our 4 door pickup is 10.  Four in the front six in the back. It was pouring so no one was in the bed.
31)   Sometimes I’m so filthy and sweaty from working in the fields, I empty my pockets, take off my belt, glasses and shoes and walk directly into the show to rinse the filth off the clothes and then off me. That’s just the rinse cycle, Dianne must still wash them to get them clean.
32)   If you ladies want to get rid of or avoid getting bat wings, start doing laundry by hand. Diannes arms are getting ripped.
33)   When I first starting using a corbo (Machete)and was pruning trees, on a missed swing, I must have flung it 20 feet. It might explain #21
34)   If we knew then what we know now, 5 years ago we would have come here and opened up a tienda selling only Hair Gel (Boys and men) and dark eyeliner pencils and hair ties for the women. We’d be retired right now eating Papusas and sipping Pilsners by the playa.
35)   You don’t like cold showers, then don’t shower in the morning after the water in the storage tank has cooled off. You shower in the late afternoon when that tanks been sitting in the sun all day.
To be continued………………………………………………….

Tom y Dianna


  1. All wonderful, but I really like 16 and 19. And yes, one's arms get strong doing the wash in a pila. I am coming to ES 13-21 January 2014 so maybe I will get to see you.

  2. Don't forget the aroma of all those bodies (ours included) piled on top of one another in those wonderful buses... The matatus in Kenya were a similar delight! Shall we bring a couple of suitcases full of eyeliner, hair gel and hair ties when we visit? "Never too late..." Hugs!