Monday, September 27, 2010

Garry is in Palawan, so I'm up later than I should be. No, it isn't late yet... but it's getting there, and I haven't even sent the boys to bed yet. And after they go to bed I likely need a cup of coffee and a good book. And maybe some computer time. Just kidding!

Tomorrow morning (Tuesday here, Monday evening on the other side of the world) Garry has a check ride scheduled. This is one of the requirements for his annual pilot license renewal. He's also looking forward to doing some flying with the guys while he's in Palawan this week.

On Saturday Kaleb was out with Garry and came home saying he'd been stung by a bee. We put some baking soda on the sting and I didn't think much more about it-- but Sunday morning his finger was very swollen. I was going to tell you that we had to take this picture before we tried to get the swelling down, but....

Someone asked me about garbage and shopping here. Well, I asked my neighbor the other day if her garbage had been collected, because mine was left. She said hers had been taken but mine probably wasn't because it was in a black bag and tied shut. Yes, clear bags and/or leave them open! What especially made me laugh is that you can't even buy clear garbage bags here! The following day I was talking to some friends and they were planning to go talk to the subdivision management to find out how we can all get our garbage taken away.

Changing the subject, here are some lovely bell peppers I found at the open market last week. On the right are my amazing find, close-to-North-American sized peppers, and on the right are the peppers we usually get. The taste is similar, but it takes a LOT of the smaller ones to do something like fajitas!

Grocery shopping here takes time, not primarily because of long lines, but because you have to go several different places. My routine includes the following: open market for fresh veggies, fruit stand for fruit except bananas which we buy from a lady on the other side of town, wet market for chicken and bacon, meat shop for beef and pork, egg stand for eggs, seafood place for tuna, Armand's for any grocery items I can get there, Guisanos for anything that is absolutely not available anywhere else (which doesn't mean I could get the other items there if I wanted to), Highland for fresh milk (it only lasts a max of 5 days), water station for filtered water... and these are just the things that we need most every week! Most other things are also bought at specific stores-- be it phone load, dog food, stationery items, or medicine it's virtually impossible to find different kinds of items in the same store.

Guisanos LOOKS like a rather modern department store, but it doesn't work quite like one... you have to pay for items from each department separately, and they almost never have change in the cash register, so if you don't bring proper change you can wait up to 20 minutes for you change! Other than that, everything in town is small specialty shops. Which maybe explains why I really enjoy shopping in the city that's a couple of hours away but has more traditional grocery stores.

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