Monday, December 27, 2010


Okay, so living in a poor region of a foreign country is not always, well, it's not always easy. In fact, it can sometimes be downright paralyzing, because when you go to do something, it rarely ever goes as expected. It usually takes about 15 extra steps to accomplish something that should have taken half a step. Or, sometimes, you are completely blocked from doing what you wanted and all you can do is roll with it.

We spent most of Christmas Eve day with some friends sharing stories about how we've had to roll with it several times. For instance, one friend said she wanted to purchase a sweater, but the store had already closed its register and simply wouldn't let her buy it. Not the way they do business in the US, right? Another very common sight around here are restaurants with their owners sitting outside around 6 or 7 pm-when we usually eat dinner-refusing to let anybody in until at least 8 pm. This is one that continues to surprise me. They take their rest hours very seriously here. Rest hours do not exist in the US.

So, the list went on and on and we laughed and moan and cried to help each other get through it and focus on all the positive things about living here. Like good tomatoes and beautiful views.

On our way home, our car busted. Completely.

Since it was Christmas Eve, we figured we would be walking home and dealing with the problem later. We absolutely did not expect for a police car to stop and help us, for the tow truck to show up in less than fifteen minutes, for a passerby to offer a ride to our other car at our house, for the police officers to let us wait in their car because it was pouring rain, for our Italian friend to suggest a good mechanic, and for the mechanic to show up right as the tow truck was pulling in to open his garage. Incredible efficiency. Unbelievable. I have had my fair share of car troubles in the US, and never, ever, has the process of towing gone so smoothly.

And so, I believe I owe this town an apology.

I'm sorry. I hope we can still be friends.

And thank you for continuing to surprise me.


  1. That is UNREAL. How much is the language remaining a barrier? Are you guys just picking it up faster now since you've been there so long? Hope you guys had a great Christmas!

  2. This might be the most compelling story I've ever read...and it makes me want to come live with you.