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Monday, October 04, 2010

The new normal

I'm working on the new normal.  Although, in Honduras it will take awhile before any of it seems 'normal'.  This morning started out fine, although I was running a bit late.  I had called Carlos, a taxi driver recommended by many on post, to pick me up at the hotel.  I didn't have much time to eat my free breakfast at the restaurant, so I asked what was 'rapido' (my Spanish spelling may be as bad as my English, just sayin' )  and he recommended cereal.  When he sat the nice large bowl of corn flakes in front of me I realized the bowl was warm, which I thought was odd that it was still that hot from being washed.  Then I noticed the steam rising from the milk.  The cereal was hot!  It was actually good that way, but a bit of a surprise.  Carlos was waiting for me when I finished, and I walked on post with no issues after showing my temporary pass.  It took about 10 minutes to walk to my building, but I figure I need the exercise.

The day went quickly.  One of the guys showed me around and I finally got a local cell phone, a coffee maker and coffee, and some plastic hangers.  I tried to use the coffee pot, and it started smoking.  I'll take it back tomorrow.  sigh.  The cell phone has everything in Spanish.  I'm going to find a translator online in a minute to translate the several messages I've gotten.  Cell phones are cheap down here, and I'm thinking that the phone numbers don't stay out of circulation long.  The instructions for the phone are in Spanish, also.  So, I punch buttons and hope for the best.  Why is it that in the US instructions are in 3 or 4 languages, and down here when I need the second language version, everything is in Spanish only???

Two other things that I find different down here are that the water faucets turn backwards.  Also the doors into places open backwards.  In the US, the doors into public place all open out so that if there is a fire it is easier to evacuate, a crowd doesn't have to step back to get the door open.  Here, they are push to enter.  It's the little things that make a place feel odd.

I called Carlos to meet me after work, and did my evening constitutional walk to the gate.  There I came up against a very serious Sgt. who had no intention of allowing me off post alone.  Seems I'm supposed to have a buddy.  Having a specific cab waiting to take me to my hotel didn't phase him.  He talked to my boss, who was not having much luck,either.  Finally he said he would allow me to leave, but implied I might be arrested tomorrow morning for being off post alone.  sigh.  If it's not one thing it's another.

In all of this, none of the problems have been with any of the local people, who have uniformly been pleasant and helpful.

Tonight supper is cold pizza from the Pizza Hut across the street.  The desk staff called in my order for me, and delivered it to my room last night.  It is basically standard Pizza Hut stuff, and the 2L of Pepsi is a good alternative to the bottled water, since I still (whimper) don't have a working coffee pot, 

Here, every day is an adventure.  And, I guess that's what I came down here for.

1 comment:

  1. Yep, you need a local friend/translator for sure. I betcha that phone has English commands some where. The few times I have been out of country, Mexico,Jamacia, Bora Bora, Bahamas, I have found a local street kid and offered to pay them a penance for guide and translation services. It's worked for me anyway.

    Enjoy the sites and sounds and keep us updated.

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