Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New observations

-There is lots of trash around and I never see any people pick up trash or like on earth day community service projects going around picking up trash. They are however very picky about leaves lying around on the ground on driveways, and streets. I will see people picking up leaves and completely going around trash.
-If people find that something smells bad they will cover their nose with their hand. Sure, things smell bad back home but people never say or make any showing of it. They act like nothing is wrong.
-When children say good bye to their parents for the day or a few hours they give Salam, which is putting the back their parent's right hand to their forehead and then kissing it. So they don't hug and kiss their parents good bye.
-When a child or teenager meets or says good bye to an elder other than their parents they do the same thing.
-When adults meet each other and greet each other they will hold their hand out like they are going to shake it but instead it is a grasp and then they touch their hand to their chest. I actually don't like shaking people's hands so I find this much better.
-Sometimes it is harder to stick up for yourself. People can call a person nasty names or say bad things about that person in their language and one cannot defend one's self because one doesn't know what they are saying. Generally through tone of voice and sometimes accompanying gestures the person being talked about can figure out what is being said is not nice. Other times if one can remember the word to look it up or ask someone else who speaks the language they can find out what the word means. Even if it is hurtful I would rather be called a nasty name in my own language so at least I know what is being said about me.
-During the hot season when it rains there is really loud thunder and really bright lightning with almost every storm. Sometimes it just thunders and lightnings and never gets to the rain.
-Many of my students have sleepovers at their friend' houses during the week. They still get up and go to school. Where I am from sleepovers were only allowed on weekends or times there was no school so we would not stay up all night and be tired for school the next day.
-In the States there is an overabundance of phone books, and sometimes I feel that they are redundant and we could produce less and save paper and trees. Here hardly any place has phone books and when one needs information it is not easy to get a phone book. Sometimes it is also hard to find that information on the internet and sometimes not even information has the information or number I need.
-I really like chili chocolate. It is interesting because people love spicy food here and they will add chili sauce to almost everything (if it is not with a spicy curry sauce) even if it is not meant to be spicy, however, none of the people I know are not a fan of chili chocolate. They don't think it goes together. I think it is a perfect combination. I like to eat just a little piece a few times a week and really savor it. Mmmm.
-Food items can react differently here. I had a bottle of balsamic vinegar that I use a little bit every other month. I had only used about 1/4 of the bottle and found the rest had solidified. I have bought Nutella which is supposed to be thick and kind of like peanut butter but it turns more liquid here. I have peanut butter that I use a few times a week and that is starting to liquify some. Fruit and vegetables don't last as long. I get the treated milk just for cereal because I heard fresh milk hardly keeps more than a few days (I don't drink it that fast). I miss drinking milk but I don't like the taste of the treated milk enough to drink it. People don't seem to throw things in the fridge here as fast. They will leave things out on the table, even like meat and just put a cover over it and then will eat off it later in the day or the next day. They never seem to get sick. I always avoid that food, because I don't trust not getting sick.
-I feel sorry for the animals here. Lots of the homes in this town have small fenced in cement areas for their cars. They don't have  lawns for their animals. I am sure with a cat is not as big of a deal because most cats don't have to stay in the yard but for dogs they have just that cement area to lay on and that is where they also go to the bathroom. I feel sorry for them and I also think it is gross. I mean I know normally they go in the yard, but one can clean it up and they can wear certain shoes when walking in the grass. Plus, one does not have to worry about getting it on their tires or stepping in it when they get out of their vehicle. Plus. some of the dogs don't have much room, so they are basically going potty where they eat, sleep, and hang out.
-In America now we pick up after our dogs when we are out walking and they poop somewhere. Here they let their dogs poop wherever, even on the street and don't pick it up.
-I saw a cat one day using the tire on a car as a scratching post.
-People don't have sprinkler systems here. Probably because it rains so much and they probably really don't need it.
-People don't have lawn mowers and mow their lawns. They hire people with weed wackers to come cut the grass and weeds.
-When people hand you something and you are standing far from them they will grasp the outstretched arm with the other hand about in the middle of the forearm. I was told they are doing that to shorten their reach so they are not rude. I don't really understand that.
-I noticed people here if they point at something it is with their thumb and not their index or pointer finger. Again that might be something so as not to be rude.
-When I first moved here I noticed that at the food stalls they use plastic bags for drinks and then put straws in them. They use a tie on the bag to close one end and also so people can hang the drink on something when they are eating. They also use styrofoam containers for all food items. In the US we have moved away from stryofoam because we know how environmentally friendly it is not. So, I thought that they were not into protecting the environment. I have noticed recently though that they do recycle. Plastic, cans, papers, cardboard, and probably some other things as well.

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