The Life of Liz

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. ~Anne Frank

Monday, March 21, 2011

Booger It Up, Baby

On Food Preparation:

This is what happens when Patricia's mom, Ines, cooks breakfast: fluffy eggs, tomatoes, gallo pinto and tortillas, freshly made mango juice. This is what happens when I make breakfast: bread and jelly. One of these things is not like the other...

I am perfectly capable of making breakfast (ok, I don't know how to make mangoes into juice yet) but what I can't yet do is shop. I can't just rummage around the fridge, have an idea, and scrape it into some kind of tasty dish. Why? Because there's no refrigerator.  Fridges aren't uncommon by any means, we just don't happen to have one here. Every day, someone slips out and returns with the required ingredients for that meal. There appears to be some sort of secret map somewhere marked out with which shop sells what. I cannot find this map and have yet to solve the mystery of how food appears. If left to my own devices, I am sure I would quickly starve.

It's stuff like this (the lack of a fridge, not the secret map) that sometimes makes me absolutely want to spit with rage when the family gangs up to badger me about my health. I'm sorry you think it's terrible that I want to sleep with a fan, but you think nothing of using eggs that have been sitting out on the counter all night.  I find this horrifying but I got over it. So can you. (For the record, I don't actually say any of that out loud)

That was kind of an unexpected side rant, thanks for listening...


On Handkerchiefs:

The other day, I really had to blow my nose.  And this wasn't going to be any kind of sedate, ladylike sneeze either; this was going to be a massive, chunky, phlegm parade. Much to my horror, I was offered a handkerchief. Like a real one, made of cloth and everything.  I didn't realize anyone who wasn't over the age of 80 still carried one! As it turns out, almost all men here do. They are quite useful for wiping sweat off one's face or any miscellaneous hand towel needs. Or for nose blowing.

How do you say, in Spanish, "no, I am NOT going to booger up your hankie"? So there I am, trapped. At any moment, I'm going to start blowing snot bubbles; I really really really have to blow my nose but I cannot bring myself to hand back a used handkerchief. Or worse, what if I keep it and then have to wash boogers out of my pocket (by hand!)? Meanwhile I'm sitting there like an idiot rock, acutely aware of time passing, completely incapable saying anything by way of explanation (partly because I don't know how to explain, and partly because I'm afraid if I start speaking, snot will come flying out of my face). What would YOU do?

Then he said it, the most magical words I've ever heard: "prefieras papel de higiénico?" (would you prefer toilet paper?) Ahhhh, my hero!


On Homesickness:

One of my best friends in the whole wide world got married on Saturday, but I wasn't there. I was a bridesmaid, but I wasn't there. Nearly all of the people who are the most important to me, the most dearly loved, were all together in one place. But I wasn't there.

There is a price for doing what I do.  Most of the time, it's nothing burdensome. I can take most stuff in stride (or rant about in this blog until I feel better!) knowing that there is a higher purpose.  This weekend, the cost was heavy. Special thanks to everyone who skyped with me, chatted with me on facebook, or just generally kept me busy so I didn't choke on the homesickness. You have my eternal gratitude.

And, from the bottom of my heart, el fondo de mi corazón, congratulations Mr. and Mrs. C, have a long and happy life together. Oh, and I'm coming to see you in August when I get back, please be prepared with photos aplenty. 

3 comments:

Maeve's Momma March 21, 2011 at 9:54:00 AM MDT  

We missed you at the wedding, too. But I'm proud of you for crossing the line into a new world and being bold enough to stay.

beckala March 21, 2011 at 8:36:00 PM MDT  

Wow, I definitely assumed that you had a fridge there, especially since you have internet. Weird.

We really missed you at the wedding but I was so happy that we at least got to chat a little.

Marissa March 29, 2011 at 6:17:00 PM MDT  

I missed you so much! It would have been wonderful to see you. However, we will be very prepared to see you in August, and hopefully our lives will be a little less chaotic then. Thanks for the congratulations!

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A brand new mom trying to navigate the crazy world of mixed families, babies, and working full time. Phew! Just writing that makes me want to lie down.

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