We’ve been in the US now for almost three weeks and there are a few things that still aren’t quite “normal” for us. Allow me to explain…
-Speed Limits- Don’t get me wrong, we have speed limits in Guate, but they are more of speed suggestions than limits. I have found that when I’m driving here, I need to be REALLY careful about how fast I’m going. On these straight, flat roads, it’s so easy to get going quite quickly!!
-School Buses- You actually have to wait for them around here. Back in Guate, it’s pretty much expected that you fly around any bus that is stopped, whether it’s a school bus, a public transport bus, or whatever!! Nope, can’t do that here…
-Noses- No, not face noses, but car noses. Both of our vehicles in Guate don’t have any noses and we are sitting right on the wheels, making the turning quite a bit different. Around here we are constantly over or under estimating how much space we actually have yet when parking. Yeah well, no major damage has been caused yet!!
-HUGE Parking Spaces- Seriously, you could probably fit two cars in some of the parking spaces around here!!
-Bathrooms- I know it still catches me off guard when there isn’t a trash can for the toilet paper in a bathroom… actually, that may be better, because if there is a trash can, it may be used! =S
-Stop Signs- Stupid things, you actually have to stop! In Guate, stop signs are (once again) suggestions, not so around here!! Part of the problem may be that I’m not comfortable with rolling stops either, so if you are ever behind someone that comes to a COMPLETE stop at every stop sign, that’s probably me. ;)
-Communication- It still catches me (and the rest of us!) off guard when we can actually talk to people in the stores and ask questions when needed. I can speak Spanish, but it is quite nice to be able to effortlessly get a point across!!
-The Cold- Ok, so some people in my family are fine with it, but I can’t seem to get warm at times!!!!!
On the other hand, there are a few things that we have come to enjoy and adjust to quite quickly!
-Hot Water- You turn on the hot water and boom, it’s there!! In Guate we usually have to wait a few minutes for the water to turn hot, so it’s been a nice change! J
-English- While it is a little “odd” at times, it has been very nice!
-Heating- When we walk into a house, it’s warm!! Without heat in Guate, it gets to be a little chilly sometimes…
-Grocery Stores- We make so many more runs to grocery stores around here than we would in Guate. Granted, we went to Pricesmart every day to pick up the pastries and occasionally we would get other stuff too, but not quite like we do now!!
It is amazing how often life around here will feel "normal" and like we hadn't even left, but at the same time there is this huge, Guate-sized hole in our lives that we (obviously) need to fill. Don't worry, we're not staying here in the US permanently, at least not yet, and we (at least most of us) are looking forward to getting back to Guate and the "normals" that come with it! But, at the same time, we are enjoying the little luxuries that come with the US and all the fun of being with friends and family again!!