Here are some things that are hard currently:
- I went to the bank to pick up my ATM card yesterday. This is a card that I ordered about two months ago. I have already tried to pick it up at another branch, with lots of frustration and miscommunication. It is important that I get it because the bank itself is an hour and a half away and I have to take a crowded (two people in front passenger seat, four people and however many little kids in back) taxi to get there. I’ve got an ATM in my town so with this card I will have easy access to my money and will be able to evade uncomfortable taxis. With all the steps and inefficiencies at the bank, it took almost three hours to get my ATM card. THREE HOURS. There was something especially infuriating about it because it was set up very much like a western bank, with people in western-style clothes etc. which gave me expectations that it might function like a western bank as well. No dice. The customer service specialist took a personal call from one of his buddies while in the middle of talking to me. That is pretty indicative.
- I really love to have visitors at my house and in the US I try to have a pretty much open-door policy. You in the neighborhood? Give me a call and drop by! But here there is a lot of dropping by and not a lot of calling beforehand. I had someone come to say hi to me at 7:30 am yesterday and someone else come at 10:00 pm. I am thinking of setting up visiting hours.
- There are 10000 spiders in my house. There is one in particular who is living inside my roll of toilet paper. He scares me for reasons you can imagine and I really want to get rid of him but he is too fast for me to kill.
- There are also rats and mice. They love to eat everything so I have to put my food in sealed plastic containers or in bowls hanging from the rafters with little cardboard guards above them so that the vermin cannot climb down the ropes. I left out some tomatoes last night because my hanging bowl was full and they were too ripe to keep in a sealed container. But then they had bites taken out of them in the morning. Mice and rats also poop a lot all over the places you would like them not to poop (NOT IN MY HOUSE NOT ON MY KITCHEN COUNTER ESPECIALLY)
- There is a gang of kids in my concession. They range in age from 1.5 to 14 and they are a lot. They often have their faces pushed up against my screen door watching me. They always want to be hanging out in my house. We’ve established rules like “you must knock if you would like to come in. You may not come in unless I say you can. When I ask you to leave, you must leave. No kids in my bedroom.” There are some other rules that I am currently implementing due to unforeseen issues. These include: “No feet on the kitchen table, no naked baby butts on the kitchen table, you may not throw trash on my floor, no hitting each other while under my roof, you may not chew plastic packaging like it is gum in my house because I am worried about your health even if your mom says it is ok.” Although having 9 or 10 kids in your living room can be a headache, it can also be very heartwarming. They are really into learning songs, so I have taught them some. So far, we can sing “Pony Boy,” “Hot Cross Buns” and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” This is adorable and I especially like when the two year old sings along because she makes English-sounding noises instead of words.