I went to the grocery store a few days ago — the BIG grocery store. I counted. Five aisles of food. Each aisle is 8 feet long. That’s not a lot of food. And they had an awful lot of meat in tubes like cookie dough. I didn’t buy any.
On my way home I needed gas in the rental car. It was empty. I figured that since I am going to have the car for a month, I should just fill it up–I didn’t want to buy gas every three days. I pulled in and notice that the last person who bought gas bought only 5 euros worth. I rememberer in the past being told to only put 10 or 20 Euro in a rental car and wondered if filling it up was something anyone ever did here. But when the man came over to the car, I went for it and said, “Fifty Euro.” He looked at me and repeated what I said. I shook my head yes and said, “Nai.” He called for another man, who I believe was the owner, and said, “This lady said she wants 50 euro of gas!” That owner came over to the car, looked in the window an asked me, “Fifty euro?!” They really must have thought I was from another planet (no, just another country, I thought)! Now I am totally feeling like a rich American, so I rethink my request and say, “Oxi, no, 40 euro.” “Oh, ok” he says…like that was fine! Apparently 50 euro is unheard of but 40 isn’t a problem! (Obviously with the economic crisis, 50 euro is a crazy amount of money…most people really do only put 5 or 10 euro in at a time.)
I proceed to drive home, into the town, across the little bridge, drive through the restaurant that spans both sides of the small street, and try to head up the hill past the bakery to the house. There was a truck parked in front of the bakery…delivery type of truck. I had to back up, back through the restaurant, across the bridge and pull to the side and wait. And wait. And wait. About 10 minutes later the truck leaves and I can go up the hill.
I travel another 500 feet, past the bakery, around a few corners, up the almost perpidicular road, only to see a woman vaccuming her parked car in the middle of the road. The road that is only as wide as one car. I beep. She doesn’t hear me because of the vacuum. I wait. And eventualy she sees me! She puts the vacuum back into her house (because her house is right up against the road and the vacuum is plugged in inside), moves her car, and I make it home.
Yesterday my cousin Sophia and I decided to take our kids on a road trip to the reservoirs in the mountains to hike, explore, and feed the turtles. The trip began with Zach feeling car sick. He’s notorious for getting car sick, so 15 minutes into the ride he begins telling me he he’s sick. We pull over so he can walk around. We get back in the car, drive another 5 minutes, and he tells me he’s going to be sick. We pull over, he gets fresh air, we get back in the car, and we drive again. Soon, we stop, we sit, we wait, and still no vomiting. This continues and after about an hour and 6 stops later, he finally throws up. Thank goodness! After he throws up, he usually is better the remainder of the trip. That was a good thing, because although the island is extremely small, there are apparently a lot of roads. The trip took much longer than anticipated. We drove for three hours and never found the reservoir (and we stopped and asked at least six times for directions)! I can’t imagine how long the trip would have taken if we had to stop every five minutes for Zach to work out his car sickness! When we got back to the village, Sophia told her father we never made it, and he said, “How did you not find it? It is so easy to get to!” Later she told her sister, Stella, who said, “Sophia, how could you get lost? It’s so easy to find!” Next time we are taking one of them with us and leaving Zach at home!