Saturday, May 3, 2008

my new hobbies

1. Hoarding cough drops. As a sign of welcome, a handful of kids have presented me with single Halls cough drops. It´s not because I seem sick, it´s because here in the DR Halls cough drops are sold individually and consumed like candy. They are technically fruit flavored, but they are definitely the mentholated kind, and to my American taste buds they are not that desirable. I am, however, hoarding them for the eventuality that I come down with a cough.

2. Getting lost. My barrio is not very big at all and I only live three blocks from the school. Nonetheless, I seem to rediscover new, and significantly longer, routes to school all the time. Word of this has spread and once I arrive at school, I am generally not permitted to walk home alone.

3. Providing endless answers to the five questions all students know how to ask in English: What´s your name? What's your full name? Where are you from? Where do you live? and What is your father? The last one is kind of deep; what, indeed, IS my father? I also receive bonus ¨Weird American¨ points when I tell them that my middle name is Kay, since to a Spanish speaker, Kay = Que = What?. My middle name is What. I also spend a lot of time explaining that, haha, no, I´m not an engineer, I studied English in school. I´ve also started lying and telling people that I am a teacher, because otherwise I feel desperately underqualified for this job. I am still pretty underqualified for this job, but at least calling myself a teacher gives me some sort of street cred.

4. Frowning at mosquitos. They are too abundant and too speedy for me to make much of a dent in their population via swatting, but I give them all stern looks as they steal my blood and possibly give me the gift of dengue fever. Hopefully they feel chagrined.

5. Listening to kind of creepy Christian radio talk shows. This is less a hobby and more an enforced act, given the frequency and volume with which my host family plays such programs in our house. The hymns are pretty, at least.

1 comment:

The Squirrel said...

We ought to notify Smith Brothers (red) and Ludens about the cough drop situation in the DR. A whole new market for them!
Sooooo what about Chiclets? Are these a Mexico-only treat for younguns?
Don't forget to tell the curious children that your dad calls you nada kay...nothing what? Really who could believe that?
I am glad your school is looking out for you--perhaps someone could draw you a map...
And don't forget the OFF :)