Monday, July 21, 2008

Just A Few Observations

I’ve made some subtle observations about my new life here in Tegucigalpa. Some are really subtle and others are, well, not so subtle. Here are a few.

I live in a beautiful house. It’s a 2 story home, 4 bedrooms/baths, formal areas and a huge kitchen. However, there is no heat or air conditioning. That tells me that the climate is very mild here and I like that. Homes here are constructed of concrete…no drywall. All have tile floors. They tend to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

There are these little clumps of growth that seem to cling to power lines and branches of the tree. They remind me of mistletoe. Back in Texas, I had 2 maple trees in my front yard and every year, I had to cut out the mistletoe or it could kill the tree. No one seems to be bothered about the growths here. They look like a mess of sticks forming a ball. I’m told that birds who sit on the wires and branches deposit the seeds of these little plants there and they just cling and grow…something in the air plant family, I guess. Sometimes the wires are just covered with these little things. It’s quite a sight.

When I lived in Texas, I could go to the store and easily spend $150. Here, for some reason, I have to really look hard for things to buy. Then I get home and wonder why I don't have anything to eat.

Tomorrow repairmen will descend on my house to make numerous repairs. Nothing major, just lots of little things. I wish they could bring some concrete nails so I could hang some pictures. Not sure if I could swing the hammer hard enough to penetrate the concrete wall but I’d give it my best shot. I like things on my walls and these walls are definitely way too bland for my liking. See how boring my office looks??

Not too much money is spent on road repairs here in Honduras. You never know when you’ll come up to a huge hole in the street. And people steal man hold covers so if you hit one, you really know it! I haven’t found out why they are stolen so much.

Street vendors and beggars are all over the place. Guys wander between the cars stopped at red lights with a flame stick and a bottle. You guessed it, he takes a swig of whatever flammable solution is in the bottle and spews flames! His partner wanders with him with a bucket, looking for tips from people who think that’s amazing and a good show to watch while waiting for the light to turn green. There are also people who push a person in a wheel chairs who has no legs, also begging. The toughest is the kids, many who can’t be more than 5 years old, walking between the cars in the street banging on your window, looking in to see what you might have. They don’t stop when you say NO…you have to wave your finger back and forth and I guess that’s the universal signal for “Get the hell away from my car!” Some run up and immediately start cleaning your windoes with their little window washer/squeegee thing and then get mad when you don’t pay them. I’ve told the trick is that when you see them approach, turn on your windshield wipers and wash your own windows. Such is the entertainment at the red light. At night, you do not…repeat, do NOT stop for red lights. We have been told to slow down, look both ways and then just go. We’re told not to be out after dark so sitting at a red light at 10:00 PM isn’t something you want to do. However, in most intersections, people pay little attention to the lights anyway. Every man for himself! I must add that most of the time the lights aren’t working so, you watch the car next to you and go when he does. Safety in numbers!

That’s about it for now. In spite of everything, I really like it here. And once I really can get to the stores by myself without getting lost, I’ll like it much better!

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