Monday, November 17, 2008

Questions Answered?

by Louise

Answers to questions from some enquiring minds:

How do you say "poop" in Spanish?
We're told by some Spanish-speaking friends in the US that it's la caca, although it sounds like they may be making that up. Could it really be that obvious? We don't have the nerve to ask the women in the bakery, but we will ask the tutor we are scheduled to meet this Thursday.

What's the grossest thing you've eaten so far? The best?
Katharine says: The grossest meal we had was in Panama. We went to a restaurant and were served rubber seafood. It was totally gross. Best food so far was in Buenos Aires: Pollo empanadas y dulce de leche helado. (If it were up to Katharine she would Only eat empanadas.)

Please describe the daily routine
We are still trying to figure out a routine. For instance, yesterday while walking to the parque zoological por clase de ciencias, we realized that it was nearly time for lunch yet we had just eaten breakfast. Things will change tomorrow...

Currently our schedule looks a little like this:
8am: Wake up (well, everyone but Katharine). Discover that we ate the bread intended for desayuno with the previous night's dinner. Either Andrew or I run out to get more bread from one of the dozen nearby bakeries and often come back with everything but bread. Today it was donuts filled with dulce de leche (and I wonder why my clothes are snug).

9am-11am: Attempt to teach our children something. This has proven tougher than we anticipated. I am discovering that after nearly 20 years of creating materials for teachers and kids that I picked the easy profession. Teaching is tough. I'm having trouble with two students, how teachers can manage 10 or more is beyond me.

11am-2pm: Explore the city. One of the reasons why we are in BA for two months was to expose the kids to city living and all it has to offer (dog poop, included as a bonus in BA). So far discovered that places like museums and parks are a hit with G&K but the city center where it's all walking and looking at buildings and talking about history is a chore which results in our having to stop for a snack and a coffee or a lunchtime cerveza. The kids say they prefer living on a farm but would like a nice cheese shop and a bakery or two nearby.

3pm: We head home and attempt to enforce a siesta. Funny how G&K can be dragging their feet, moaning about how tired they are only to return to our little apartment and start bouncing off the walls. Nevertheless, it's quiet time for a couple hours.

6pm: Head out for a walk around the neighborhood, attempt to pull together dinner from the small, local pasta, butcher, and vegetable shops, or just head to the large supermercado for one stop shopping. I am nearly positive that the supermarket is getting it's vegetables shipped in from the Cape Charles Food Lion.

A trip to the supermercado can also take a really long time if we need something as basic as milk. There seems to be a lot of choices—I think—but I'm not sure. The packages look different yet similar—they have slight word changes that continue to hang me up. I haven't been able to find the fat free milk, but there appears to be milk for people over the age of 50. And then, of course, you have to decide between milk in a tetrapak or plasma-like baggie.

8pm: This seems to be the time when people meet at cafes for a coffee and pastry or maybe an ice cream. Not us. We're ready for una cerveza o copa de vino tinto. If possible, we try to find a cafe next to a park. So we can park it while watching the kids park it.

9-10pm: We head home to prepare dinner. This is also TV Spanish. We continue to learn a lot here, but have discovered that the kids can actually learn too much from TV. There can be no casual flipping of channels. It seems to go from Disney to dancing shows where the contestants dance in the "rain," while wearing very little. I mean, Very little.

10-11pm: Dinner. If we go out, it's definitely no earlier than 10pm...and we're still some of the first to be seated. This is why the afternoon siesta is crucial. Without it, G&K collapse before you can say agua con gaseosa.

How does Andrew get the dog poop off his shoes?
Poop? What poop?
We now have a "remove all footwear at the door" policy. Just in case. It really is crazy out there.

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