Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Goings On

I have so much to say but I just haven’t been in a writing mood lately. Perhaps that’s because I’ve been editing the seemingly endless number of TOIAW graduate school admission essays? Who knows. I am thrilled that process will be over soon! It’s quite complicated because every school has slightly different content and word count requirements and he is applying to around 50 schools. Okay, not quite but it feels like it.

In the midst of my editing, I’ve been rather social. This weekend I worked at the international women’s club bazaar and that was fun. Each country sponsors a booth with goods unique to their country. The U.S. sold food (baking mixes, peanut butter, chocolate chips, etc.); leave it to the U.S. to sell you up with additives and high fructose corn syrup. It was pretty funny trying to use my limited language skills to explain American products! But then TOIAW got there and he had difficulty also even though he his completely fluent. Some things are just difficult to explain. I was amazed at the number of people who tried to bargain! All the proceeds went to charity and they were bargaining! I know it’s an integral part of some cultures but it still shocked me (actually, it made me laugh more than it shocked me).

Yesterday I attended a coffee group club that is part of the same organization and that, too, was fun. I had a nice time meeting new people and chatting and then a few of the ladies went to lunch. There were five of us: 3 Americans (one foreign-born naturalized citizen, one married to a local national, and me), 1 French woman, and 1 Australian. We had a very interesting discussion about healthcare after one of the women asked us why so many Americans are opposed to the proposed health care bill. I found myself longing for the standard, “Do you like President Obama?” question I invariably get at diplomatic functions!

After that I went with a friend to a market that sells fruit and vegetable delicacies like lettuce. It’s one of those markets where you buy from different vendors and the prices are somewhat negotiable. I’ve always gone with TOIAW and neither of us has ever noticed the high prices. That all ended when I went with my friend who speaks the language well but with an American accent. Cherries? $50 for 2lbs. Cucumbers? $12.50 for 4 small ones. Apricots? $16.25 for 2lbs. Tulips? $2 per flower. I did buy some lettuce and bell peppers for decent prices but that’s where the deals ended. I only saw two other shoppers and it is a HUGE market. When I’m with TOIAW and we walk away because a price is too high, they typically yell out a lower price to entice us back to their booth. Yesterday, they just laughed at us when we walked away. I plan on going back with TOIAW soon and seeing what the prices are when he’s with me. Perhaps I’ll also leave my “I’m a SUCKER” hat at home.

Well, it’s time to run some errands. This is always an adventurous task and it is even more so now that the elevator in our building is out of service. We live on the 5th floor but it is an old building with insanely high ceilings and there are 40 steps between each floor (yes, I counted). I don’t have any issues with taking the stairs, per se, but they are made of marble that is very worn, slick, and in many places broken which is challenging in a dimly lit stairwell. Yesterday I tripped on a broken stair and slid down several steps. Just call me Grace. My butt is sore today and I can’t even blame Jillian Michaels!


AKD said...

I'm surprised you wanted to get anywhere near your keyboard after all of the editing!

I'm so glad that you're doing so much fun stuff! I love that chocolate chips and peanut butter are a foreign item! Those are just such staples over here - how in the world do they make chocolate chip cookies? ;)

$50 for cherries? That's insane! What a huge racket!

I hope your butt heals quickly! :) I do the same thing regularly - fall down the last four stairs or so!

Soapchick said...

Yeah you are a trooper for helping TOIAW with all of those apps. He better be really nice to you!

Ouchie on the stairs fall, hope it doesn't hurt anymore!