Although I have now been here over a week, it is just finally sinking in that I LIVE here. At first, it was all just a great vacation, but getting the keys to my apartment and attempting to shop for items like sheets is making it all so real. Not that sheet shopping has been successful (yet), but it is definitely the kind of life chore that makes reality sink in. Until I am successful at acquiring the lists of things that I need to begin life in my new home, I am just staying at the hotel. The bed here is quite comfy, the wifi is great, all of my new friends live here, etc.
In addition to having a home, I am having some great experiences that are teaching me about the reality of living here. The other day, I was riding with Thao (my realtor) on her motorbike on a way to a meeting with the landlord. We were about halfway there when the sky just opened up. We pulled over to the curb and jumped off the bike. To the side of the road was a little roadside coffee cart with 2 umbrellas set up beside it. Some very generous young men gave Thao and me their little blue stools to sit on under the umbrella and then they crowded around us in a circle trying to stay dry. It was a great moment. Everyone here is so generous and kind, and everyone understands that you can’t stop the rain so there is very little impatience and frustration with the inconvenient.
My other new experience is getting to happy hour by boat. Behind the school there is a little river, and if you walk about half a block past the school and down to the water front, you can yell across the river for the bar’s boat to come pick you up. Elaine thought we should try this so that we understand that real life here is still sort of like a vacation. We were not disappointed by yet another school favorite.