Monday, March 12, 2012

It's the Little Things

Before I get so accustomed to the differences between here and there, I thought I'd give you a brief look at the things I noticed most since I arrived.

  • Pedestrians do not have the right of way!
  • The shops are tiny.  Other than the "big" department store, I haven't seen any that are as large as a gas station convenience store.
  • The police wear army-style camouflage uniforms (gray/brown/black) with a school crossing guard reflective vest that has "Policia" on the back.  They're easy to spot.
  • No Passing zones are merely a suggestion (unless you get caught).
  • There is only one parking lot that I've seen here.  People who drive park on the streets.  Most people seem to walk everywhere.
  • There are no laundromats. If you don't have your own washer, you do it by hand or hire someone to do it for you.
  • Everyone goes out and cleans the front walks every morning.  If it's just dusty they sweep--if it's a little dirtier than that, they wash it. I think this may be the cleanest town I've ever seen.
  • There are little "convenience" stores everywhere, some right next to one another.  I'm guessing people shop at certain stores based on who they like better.
  • Bakeries abound.  I know of three within two blocks of my hotel.  They all seem to make the same things. None of it includes loaves of bread.  The sweets (cookies and pastries) aren't very sweet at all.
  • In restaurants salt is, served in salt cellars with tiny spoons. Sheila says the salt they have here doesn't work well in salt shakers.
  • All the shops have metal doors they close when they're closed.  I thought this was odd in a town where there was so little crime until it dawned on me that the little shops don't really have doors and windows.  Either they're open to the air or they're closed.  This is due to a combination of tradition, weather, and the cost of glass.  It's been done for so long, it's just what they do.
  • Bathroom sinks only have cold water.

That's about all I can think of right now.  I'm sure more will come to me as the days pass.

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