Sunday, April 27, 2008

living it up in los angeles

Greetings from Los Angeles, my new barrio (neighborhood)! My computer is sadly still broken, likely for the duration, so I'm still blogging on the fly here. Hopefully the quality of posts doesn't suffer too badly.

Anyway, as I mentioned in brief, my new Dona is great and I'm very happy I was able to move. The residents of my new house are my Dona, her dog Snoopy, her bird Cucca, and myself. Her older (20ish) son visits often, as do an indistinct stream of nieces, sisters-in-law, and other friends and relatives. At night it's so quiet that I no longer need to listen to Soothing Rain Sounds on my iPod to fall asleep. I do have running water less often than I did in El Seibo, but I'm fine with that... observe a conversation I had with some companeros the other day:

Me: I'm actually pretty happy to be back to bucket baths, I started to feel like I was wasting so much water when I was taking running water showers.
Ben: I know! I've started turning off the water whenever I'm not actually rinsing soap off myself.
Karina: I do the same thing!
Me: Me too!
Ben: Are we going to do that when we get back to the US?
Me: I was thinking about that, but then I remembered how long it used to take to get the water to the right temperature... remember that?
All: (Silent contemplation of warm showers)

Another drastic change since I've arrived in the DR is the amount of sugar I like in my coffee. In the US, I never added sugar to my coffee, only a little cream sometimes. Here, everyone drinks their coffee without cream, but with a roughly 1:1 coffee:sugar ratio. At first I didn't like it that much, but I quickly got used to it, since that is how coffee is delivered to you. But I had a rough wakeup call here, since my Dona gave me a cup of coffee and a sugar bowl. I assumed the coffee already had sugar in it, and the sugar bowl was for supplemental sugar, since that's pretty common here. But no: the coffee was BLACK! I almost gagged on my first sip; I can't believe I used to drink coffee with no sugar. I was further horrified to actually see how much sugar I had to add to get my coffee to taste "right" now. It's, um, a lot.

In other exciting news, today Karina and I journeyed over to Carrefour, a giant Wal-Martesque store. It pretty much blew our minds; we spent about 5 minutes asking each other, "Um, where ARE we?" There were American products galore, including a food court with Burger King and Pizza Hut! Also Yogen Fruz, the greatest frozen treat in the DR or anywhere. I bought some new shampoo and conditioner and a three-pack of dark chocolate bars! Mostly we walked around glorying in things like Tide and soy milk.

Oh, and yesterday, Arianna, Asahi, Keane, Sarah, and Carlos went into the city to try to eat falafel... tragically, the falafel restaurant was inexplicably closed. A dude hanging outside the falafel place helpfully tried to lead us to the "Restaurante Americano," seeing as how we're American and all. We rejected it, since it was a bit out of our PC price range. Next we tried to eat at a vegetarian restaurant Asahi had visited earlier, but it, too, was mysteriously closed. On the next corner we ran into some other PCVs and asked them for restaurant advice. They suggested either the US Embassy cafeteria (as PCVs we're entitled to use all Embassy facilities) or an Indian restaurant a few blocks away. We tried the Embassy but it, too was closed, although slightly less mysteriously--the guard told us it was closed on Saturdays for cleaning. Since the fourth time's the charm, we tried the Indian restaurant and it was... open! And relatively cheap and tasty! Afterwards, we got Yogen Fruz!! My strawberry-kiwi-Oreo blend was good, but Sarah's papaya-cherry was the most delicious. Mmm, Yogen Fruz. Full and happy, we strolled over to the annual Feria del Libros (Book Fair), but didn't stay too long because it was wicked hot and the books were generally out of our price range. Still, though, a good day.

Anyway, I suppose that's about all from me! I'll post when I find out about my future site tomorrow... I can't wait! It's worse than Christmas Eve!

Oh also, I uploaded some more photos! Just a few random ones, but here are a few highlights.

I tried really hard to take a good picture of cute baby chicks, but they're skittish.

Group photo of all the ICT volunteers, aka mis companeros.

Stephanie, Arianna, Karina and I in the back of a rather nice guagua.

1 comment:

Mary in France said...

I still take bucket baths sometimes! With hot water, though. And then I feel guilty about taking real showers, so I take more bucket baths.