new country, new culture, new people, new way of life, new schedule, new places, new eating spots (come on, you know us---what is travel without food???)...
we have been here a week and it has been so busy with settling in, finding the things we need, managing to work out learning that things don't always happen fast, and sweating a whole lot.
we officially moved into our place on sunday, july 4th. we stayed in a hotel for the first few nights while we got things organized and cleaned up some. now, we have water delivery, some groceries in the fridge, internet set up, and working on getting some furniture & decor. our shipment is scheduled for delivery saturday, but that can change. it has already changed twice, i think.
we have been just hanging out, running errands, checking out our neighborhood, and figuring out what life here is like. the one change we have noticed is that our schedule has shifted....we are in bed usually by 9 or 10 pm and awake by 9 or 9:30am. yes, for those of you in doubt...tis true. there is not much to do after 7 or 8pm in the evening and the sun is bright and cheery through the bedroom windows, so we are up and at it before the alarm even rings. it has been quite strange considering usually we are late night owls and sleep until the sun is in mid-sky. :)
there have been bumps and bruises along the way--paul has now bought two different power strips for our tv/computer set up with no avail that they are not the right ones, not safe, or they don't accept all the sizes of plugs. it is frustrating, but what can we do? take a deep breath and try again. the cat set up was crazy expensive---who knew??? we bought a litter box, litter, a scoop and a mat and spent an obscene amount of money. it was embarrassing, but again...what do we do? we tried to find another pet shop to check prices but had no luck in that search at all. since, we have found cheaper cat litter at one of the grocery stores, thank goodness. we were quite worried that our four-leggeds would be quite the pricey pets.
there have been laughs too--paul told me the story of the tv cable installation. they ran the cord in the house, but had to run the cable across the street to hook up to the "main" or something. the guy stood in the street and threw it over about four/five different already existing lines that were perpendicular. he said it was quite the show and when i got home he pointed to our cable tv line running across the street. wow! the internet cable also goes across the street, but in a different direction, but as well being draped over other lines along the way.
there have been animal sightings--we have had two rat sightings so far. mine was alive and in the computer store. it ran from under one set of shelves to the other. i jumped a little and let out a quiet, "oh!". paul saw the second one, but it was dead and at the bottom of our 61 stairs. he texted me that he almost stepped on it. next time he came by, it was gone.
there has been lots and lots of sweating--we have 61 upward steps from the ground up to our apartment front door on what i think is considered the fourth floor. there are eight more from the front door to the ground level of our apartment (living room, kitchen and baths). then we have some more going up the bedrooms, but i have not counted those yet. we are hoping that all the regular daily upward steps will help us lose some weight.
i have been to the market a few times so far. ming, our amazing housekeeper, went to get cleaning stuff the first trip to the one near our house (four blocks) and i went along. it is crazy. there is a lot of stuff in a small space. they are open air, but covered. it is hot and again, sweaty. today we went to the russian market (further away) to get baskets, bath stuff, and other odds and ends. i was worried about getting lost so i stayed close to ming at all times. she lead the way, managed the bargaining, taught me some tricks, and always wore a smile even though we were sweating like maniacs. i love it.
PP is awesome so far. we are loving it here and enjoying taking it all in. believe us that there is a LOT to take in, daily. it's raw and real. there is no doubt we are living in a developing country, but it's an adventure that we are quite loving. we know that God brought us here and we cannot wait to see our adventure unfold...