We seem to have moved past all the sniping and angst of the the past 48 hours. Perhaps it is the promise of life in Shangri-la in a cookie cutter Tudor manse? To be honest, I had a fleeting moment of doubt as we drove by the other faux French, Spanish, and British models. Had I picked the wrong one? Then I remembered it was the square footage and big kitchen for which I was aiming. For the first time in 12 years I will have a refrigerator that makes and dispenses ice, air conditioning to combat the 95 degree/100 percent humidity, and and a bathtub in my bathroom that I did not have to negotiate for after living in a house two years! The oven, however, has only one rack (with an additional device for roasting a chicken, should one feel up to trussing). I AM SO HAPPY! Rumor has it 50 families are moving in during the next two weeks, families with about 4 children each, families from America. This can only mean that we have moved into the Catholic/Mormon expat ‘hood. I can’t wait to buy my children bikes so they can ride around, bugging other mothers.
Years of living in rented houses in Latin America prepared us well for our first disaster. When we arrived yesterday morning to deliver sackfuls of items previously ferried over from Brazil, having spent the night in the service apartment, Thing 1 spied a gigantic leak on the ground floor, seeping through the paint and plasterboard.
“This,” I said to myself with equanamity, “is why we live in a development.” Mr. Understanding text messaged the relocation girl who called the developer. Within half an hour 5 men were at our house, chattering in Chinese, and diagnosing the problem. It was fixed, or so they say, by 7 p.m. last night, even the holes in the plasterboard. Miraculous!
Before leaving the house (with workmen in it!) for lunch at, I thought I’d make a pit stop in Thing 1’s bathroom. Years of Latin American living has also prepared me to look at toilet seats before sitting, even ones with paper bands proclaiming them sanitized. The speckled seat first drew my attention; evidently men not lifting toilet seats to do their business is a universal condition. Imagine my surprise when, peering into the bowl, I saw little black things wiggling about in the water. Thing 3 arrived and proclaimed solemnly, “Tadpoles.” Good thing I’d packed those handy dandy Chlorox wipes in the suitcase. With great aplomb, Thing 1 cleaned the toilet and went back to life.
Today Mr. U has to go back to his paid job. I am back to liking him so will miss him. The rest of us are cleaning, unpacking, and going to the police station so we can stay in the country legally. We might go see if the Minnesotans who moved in 2 streets down are around (they only have 2 kids). We also need to make another foray to the dreaded Carrefour (I saw my first naked baby in a shopping cart there yesterday).
In closing, I am off to pour myself another cup of Starbucks coffee from my brand new Braun coffee maker. I ground the beans with my new grinder. Things could be a lot worse. I am just waiting to see what crawls out of the toilet today. Maybe we can have it for supper? This might just be my new way to meal plan. When in Rome …