- Started painting the interior of my house. Had some paint contractors come by and bid on the job. I HATE painting ceilings...the rest I have no problem with. The ceilings need to be sealed. It appears the walls do, too. Almost all construction here in EC is concrete...there's virtually no drywall anywhere. If the concrete isn't sealed before painting, you can get varied effects.
- Speaking of paint, stores can color match. Yeah, right. Their method of color matching is holding up whatever you bring in (ie; a leaf) and matching it to the paper color wheel. There is no such thing as computer color matching. Thus, the Martha Stewart and Behr colors I selected in the US didn't do me a whole lotta good down here.
- Decided to buy a new tankless hot water heater. The one here probably was original (15 yrs old) and it produced hot water, but you couldn't mix in any cold or it became a lukewarm shower. Luckily, the store I bought all my appliances had ONE left at $370 (compared to nearly $1,000 in the US). The president of EC has, for whatever reason, imposed a ban on importing tankless hot water heaters. So, they've been flying off the shelves since almost 99.99% of all homes here use them. Now I have nice scalding hot water!!!
- As I mentioned before, there's no central gas here. Nearly everyone uses tanks in the house (about double the size of a BBQ gas tank). I have 4...one for laundry, one for the cooktop, one for the hot water heater, one for the oven. Two of them ran dry, so I called the company to bring me two. Within an hour they were at my gate and swapped out two empty tanks for two full ones. Cost...$4.
- Speaking of cheap...I got my first EC haircut. I noticed a 'unisex' salon near my hostal so went there. They cut my hair with scissors, trimmed with the electric sheers, then cleaned up all the edges by applying lather and cutting with a razor, THEN shampooed my hair and styled it. Cost....$5.
- Oh, since my property is walled in, there's no way for anyone to approach my front door unless they have been let in the exterior part. The sellers didn't have any mechanism for knowing someone was at the gate other than that person yelling to get their attention. So, I purchased a couple of wireless remote doorbells and installed them. So, who is the FIRST to show up and use them??? MORMONS!!!! I couldn't believe it when I opened the gate. They were nice young fellows and we chatted a bit about their EC adventure, but I clearly told them I had a different philosophy on things and I was 'tight with Marie' so, all was well and they left. Even ran into them on the streets some days later and they were all happy to see me. What next....Jehovahs Witnesses????
- Decided to drop in on the hostal I stayed at in Nov and have lunch as I knew they usually have $2 specials. Unfortunately, I was a bit late and they had ran out. So, I had this huge bowl of cut up mixed fruit and an espresso. Cost...$1.80.
- One thing that is challenging here (amongst MANY) is labels. All those labels we're used to wherever we came from are pretty much non-existent. So, not only do you need to know Spanish for communication, you need to know it in order to understand lables on products. Is that liquidy thing in a bottle for laundry? Dishes? Polishing furniture? Oil for the car? You don't see TIDE, or DOWNEY, or SHOUT...you see....ummm....foreign words. And, just because it's a popular product in the US, don't think it's everywhere. I have yet to find anything like BOUNCE. It just doesn't exist. Guess I'll throw some in my luggage next time I'm in the States.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
The following is just a bunch of snippets that fell out of my brain and onto my keyboard: