One down, 35 to go...
So, one month in, how are things going? Well, I certainly don't want to undo it :-) Most everything is pretty awesome, actually.
The heat isn't that bad, although my neighbors assure me it gets worse towards July and August. The saving grace is the breeze. I can imagine that if the summer months are still, it will be rather unpleasant. But meanwhile, most of the day is livable, and the mornings and evenings are quite nice. And we do have aircon, after all, so it's not like you can't escape when you need to. Oh, and there's the pool! I am really loving the pool. It's a lap pool, so you feel kind of compelled to go back and forth a bit, but what a lovely way to cool down in the afternoon.
I was expecting to enjoy the food, and I haven't been let down on that front. Fruit and veggies everywhere, and you can go days without even being tempted to eat anything fried. Lots of chicken, lots of seafood, and of course rice. Yum :-) More garlic than you can shake a stick at, and many dishes are really spicy, in that omg-it-burns-but-I-can't-stop-eating-it kind of way. Sometimes they warn you, sometimes they don't bother.
I know the MO is missing "real" iced tea, but I never really drank it at home, so the sweet lemonade-type stuff they pass off as cold tea here doesn't bother me at all. I have one every now and then and figure it's the same as drinking a Coke. As I've mentioned before, you can get hot tea anywhere, and I do like that. It does suck that alcohol is so expensive. If you see a bottle of wine at the store for $20, you're wondering just how plonk it might be.... A six-pack (cans, warm) runs about $15. Sooooo, drink less and figure it's good for you.
And walk more! Not having a car is interesting. For the most part, it's not too bad, esp. when the MO is in town, because he does have a car, so evening or weekend trips are possible. It's about a ten-minute walk from the house to the local MRT/mall. Uphill on the way home, though ;-) (And thus many excursions conclude with a dip in the pool.) I love wearing cute sandals all the time, although sometimes my feet protest the thin soles. I generally don't go barefoot in the house just because it is hard on my tootsies. The ground floor is marble and it's really hard. And here's a thing: when people come into your house (delivery guys are the only visitors we've had thus far, but this has been true for every single one) they take off their shoes and leave them on the porch. It can't be an I-don't-want-to-get-your-floor-dirty thing because the windows are wide open, so the floor is already dusty. I wonder if I'm supposed to be offering house slippers or something?
I know, all that's great and all, but you want the dirt on all the bad stuff! Well, there really isn't much. Here are some things I still haven't quite adjusted to:
- I still get surprised when I see the money, and tend to ooh and ah over the pretty colors and that cool plastic window instead of counting out how much I need. And all the coins! Jeez. Our anniversary wine piggy bank is going to get fat fast, I think.
- I have to really pay attention to understand people, in general, but that's just me. I have a tin ear when it comes to accents.
- Eeeeverything involving the exchange of money takes longer than you think it should. And every store you go to wants to sign you up as their most favorite customer, complete with yet another card for your wallet.
- Don't plan on doing anything before noon, because it won't be open. Don't plan on doing it *at* noon because it will be too crowded. After noon, it will be raining.
- Being a pedestrian is an exercise in frustration until you realize that half the folks looking at their cell phones while they walk really aren't watching where they're going and the other half don't care. Dodge and weave, and call it an exercise in spatial awareness and honing your reflexes.
Oh! And the po-po carry EBRs! That'll stop you in your tracks the first time you see a squad of them moseying down Orchard Street. (And it might make you a bit jealous if you had to leave all your guns on the other side of the ocean.)