The good news is Barilla pasta is about $.20 cheaper here than in the States. I made the mistake of buying a crushed head of lettuce yesterday or at least I think that’s why the cashier at the checkout wouldn’t let me buy it. I did buy everything else without incident at the Italian version of Walmart. The only nail biting parts were waiting to see if they took credit cards and if I could correctly translate and find body lotion. After several minutes scouring soaps, body wash, and shampoo, did I find the body lotion and hand crème area. Equally a fun moment was reading all of the laundry detergent containers. I have no idea whether I grabbed the one for mixed colors, whether there is bleach, or any of that fun stuff. I guess I’ll find out when I do my first wash…
The beach if you want to call it that is about an eight minute walk from my apartment. I made it there this morning. There was a neighborhood dog who I thought was going to lead me there. Yet, he was more concerned with jumping into the overgrown bushes and left me to fend myself. Near those same bushes there was a work team in white hazmat suits; I kid you not, weed whacking. What struck me as funny was where there were cutting. There was no visible foliage or grass near the sides of the road these fine gentlemen were consumed with trimming. It was burnt grass and dirt for all that I could see.
As for the beach, it was more like a bunch of large rocks and what look like coral to me. There was no visible sand as we so often see in Florida beaches. I decided for today putting my hands in the in to the Adriatic would be enough. There was a faint taste of salt, but not like the North Atlantic. The water was comfortable enough, yet not Puerto Penasco like where I felt like it was disgustingly warm bath water. There was a sign in English that warned me not to bathe in said water as there was no marking signifying where the water was more than five feet deep. I did take a few pictures of the rising sun for your enjoyment.
Recycling here is positive compared to other places. They take it quite seriously with plastic only bags, paper only bags, separate glass containers and battery disposal locations. The focus on recycling puts Land O Lakes, Florida to shame or at least my complex from last school year. Yet despite this concerted effort to recycle, there is quite a bit of trash on the roads from what I saw on my first run in the city. I’m unsure when any of these recycling bags are picked up off the road, as I have seen several of the same bags street side waiting patiently for pickup over the last three days. (I asked our business manager the story behind the trash. She informed me the city is suing the garbage company for misservice. Until that's settled, trash service is sporadic.)
Other important tidbits…while you can drink the tap water here, the airports have elected to not install any water fountains. For someone that drinks as much water as I do, that little caveat was a pain upon waiting for my transfer flight.
The heat and humidity here is a bit brutal. As someone who has lived in Arkansas, Florida, and the DC metro area, that’s saying something. I’m not sure if it is just the location of the sun or the design in these apartments, but the heat lingers that much is certain.
Finally having watched countless episodes of House Hunters, I don’t see the fascination with gas stove tops. Whether it is turning on the gas, then the stove, grabbing a match, and then adjusting the flame, I’m a bit leery of this process. Nevertheless, my first cooked meal turned out well. Note to self, don’t cook in the kitchen when it’s 27.2 degrees Celsius in the apartment unless of course you want to make it more uncomfortable.