Sunday, November 22, 2009

Villages and Minutes = nefsa she!

So today, I ran into our repairman on the street walking home with several bags of groceries. I have been meaning to call him, so this was a great opportunity to tell him that our hot water heater is still not working. When I told him, he acted shocked. How could it be broken, when he “fixed” it just a couple of weeks ago? (It was never “fixed!”) Usually before I have a conversation like this in Arabic, I have time to prep myself, and bring to mind all the vocabulary that I may have to use. I told the repairman that (after leaving the hot water heater on all night*) we only have only 3 minutes of hot water, and then it gets cold (ice cold) for 2 minutes, and then is warm again. Well, that is what I meant to say, but I said something like. “There is no hot water, maybe have hot water 3 VILLAGES, and then cold water for 2 VILLAGES” Yes, I am not positive, but pretty sure as I was walking away that I used the word for villages instead of minutes!

He was surprised that it was still not working and said he will come on Monday to look at it. So inshallah (Lord-willing) he will actually show up Monday to fix it, although this will be at least the 4th time someone has looked at it or tried to fix it in the 7 months we have lived here. Is it wrong that I want to really break it so that we can just get a new one?

Actually, I have kinda worked out a system with our water heater. I shower as quickly as possible before it turns cold, and then when that happens, I turn the water from the shower to the faucet, and shiver in the shower for 2 minutes before tuning the shower back on and thawing myself out again. Inshallah (Lord-willing) though, this can be fixed before this winter, when it gets really cold!

*Here you only turn on your hot water heater when you want hot water, it is not on all the time like in America. Some water heaters only have to heat for 30 minutes to have enough to shower with, while others you leave on a few hours or all night.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Food for Thought

The Dr. Pepper ship arrived! After about 3 months of not having Dr. Pepper, I had my first one tonight. I must say, after being Dr. Pepper-less, getting this one is so sweet….it makes me think of cherry vanilla Dr. Pepper’s from Sonic! It is glorious. Anyways, it seems that a fresh shipment of things for American holidays came in. I have seen cranberries out…Ocean Spray cranberries!

Also, while we are talking about food. I made some homemade salsa/picco de galo, whatever you want to call it fresh goodness. It was really simple and easy, and I made it up so I made it to my taste. I took a can of rotel, plus 6 tomatoes, a red pepper, a green pepper, a purple onion, a can of corn, a can of kidney beans (can’t get canned black beans here), a little garlic, and a dash of red crushed pepper. It made a lot of salsa, but it was pretty darn good, if I can say so myself! Oh, tomorrow I am going to add the juice of a lime! This is fun!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

All in a Day OFF of work

I am realizing that I am no longer a kid who gets to have lazy days of doing nothing. Today (Tuesday) was my day off for the week, because I will be working Saturday. We will have training for the young professionals club Saturday. So I slept in this morning till 9, which was intentional. I stayed up working last night till 1, knowing that the power would be off from 6-9AM, and it is always easier to just sleep through that power outage if you can. I have mastered showering in the dark, but it is still kinda scary what I will look like in public when I put on my makeup without any light.

After a breakfast of a yogurt and a granola bar, I headed to the gym. Where I cranked out 6.2 km on the elliptical while watching the Sea, and listening to my Arabic monologue recording for class the next day.

Next, I went to the grocery store. It was one of those days when you only need a couple things, so you decide to plan ahead and gather extra supplies that are harder to carry when you have many groceries, i.e. laundry detergent and softener. I really only went for some yogurt, red kidney beans and face wash. However I left with 6 six sacks and $70 less in my wallet. (The face wash did me in, hygiene products are expensive here-and I was just buying Neutrogena!)

I walked all my groceries home and my fingers went numb with only about 3 blocks left, but I made it home with everything anyway. I made some homemade guacamole with chopped tomatoes, onions, a garlic clove, and lime juice; and burrito meat with sautéed onions and beans. I tend to cook a lot of one thing one day and then eat on it for 5 days, so this is enough to make one Mexican meal a day for the next several days.

After cleaning up and doing a load of laundry, I was pretty exhausted, from all this work on my day off. I needed to practice my Arabic monologue and work on my MBA class, but lacked the motivation, so instead I rested on the couch for a little while with the help of the TV remote. I chatted with my college roommate on skype, and watched Tim Allen on Home Improvement.

When I finally was motivated to work on my MBA class, I realized that for my next assignment I had to research forklifts, and suggest 3 forklifts for the imaginary company I work for on the MBA program. And I can’t make these up, so I had to actually research forklifts on the internet. I was definitely spoiled with wireless internet in the States. Here it is sooo slow. Youtube videos can take 20 minutes to download, no joke. So researching forklifts was very discouraging use of my very slow internet. So I watched more pointless TV (a very old season of “Beauty and the Geek”) while I researched forklifts.

And now it is 9PM and I am writing this while waiting on the next video in my MBA class to load (which will be another 12 minutes according to the status bar, and has timed out at least 6 times.)

I guess I am just entering the real world. And realizing that in the real world, we don’t get to stay in pj’s all day and watch movies and eat moma’s leftovers. Oh, those were the days! (Although I probably did less of that than I am imagining)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

They look good even in the Rain!

Forgive me for not posting. I go through dry spells of not being able to come up with anything that I think would interest you.

On Friday it became Fall here. Overnight it went from warm and sunny to cold and rainy! It has not stopped raining since! It is nice to finally be able to join the rest of you wearing your sweaters and scarves.

In October, I started taking Arabic at a local university. And unlike university in Oklahoma these people dress nice everyday for class. It is like a fashion show everyday on the way to class. I can't get by with a tshirt and jeans like at OBU. Since I am taking Arabic at the university, there are only foreigners in my class. When the rain started on Friday, me and a Swedish girl were talking and she commented that the girls here dress nice even when it is raining. She was shocked that they even had cute rain clothes! It is true! The tall leather boots with skinny jeans tucked into them have returned. Us foreign girls can't get a break even on a rainy day, when you would rather go out in a comfy hoodie!

I also visited the dentist this week for the first time here, and it was a good experience. The dentist cleaned my teeth and not a hygienist. And my cleaning was about half the price of the States, only $40. He spoke very good English and was friendly. Not everything is so foreign here.

Well, that was this week, I think. I will do better to keep you updated, on the weeks ahead!