Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Why No One North of the Mason-Dixon Line Will Ever Take Me Seriously Again

Since coming to the DR, I’ve had to adapt to a lot of things. I used to think that the maximum occupancy of a Toyota Corolla was 5; I now know that it is 7 adults plus a few children. I used to think it was rude to show up at people’s houses unannounced and expect coffee; I now know that it’s more rude not to. For that matter, I used to think that coffee should be served in roughly 6-8 ounce portions; I now know that you really only need about a shot glass of coffee (with at least a tablespoon of sugar). I used to think it was perfectly fine to leave my house when it was raining; I now know that passing through the rain will ruin my pelo bueno and give me a potentially-fatal case of la gripe.

Perhaps most critically, I used to think that a 75-degree Fahrenheit day was a warm and pleasant temperature. Now, however, having adapted myself to 80 and 90 degree days, I know that this is in fact terribly cold and I don’t really understand how people get by on such days without sweaters. I am not joking. The other day it dropped down to 68 and I was wearing jeans, socks, a long-sleeved T-shirt, a hooded sweater (with the hood up), and I was huddled in bed freezing. Of course, my bed has only a sheet, no blanket, because I didn’t expect to need a blanket here in the Caribbean. And judging by my old standards of temperature, I still probably don’t need one. But my internal thermometer has adjusted, and while I can now withstand 90+ heat much better than I used to, I can’t deal with anything below 75. Basically: I have become a reptile. If you need me, I will be sunning myself on a rock (unless it’s raining, in which case I will be inside, protecting my hair and shivering).

1 comment:

Mary in France said...

I had that problem when I was in India! Lame. But then I had to go back to Iowa. In the winter. Lamer.