So the kids have been in school for two full weeks now. Keep in mind that they had a nanny who only spoke Spanish in the US, so they have been hearing it their entire lives but the Spanish here is VERY different. Driving home from school the other day, we decided to ask Ads how things were going and whether she understands everything the teacher is saying. What we got was a classic interaction:
Us- “So, Ads, do you understand everything the teachers say to you in class at school?”
Ads- laughs “No. Not at all! I just say SI, SI, SI”
Us- dying laughing, “Ok. What about your friends? Do you understand them?”
Ads- “Nope…I just say SI, SI, SI and we keep playing.”
So, we have taken away a couple things from that interaction: Rome wasn’t built in a day, so we need to adjust our expectations and the kids can fake it like no others.
There have been a bunch of things that are noteworthy but not worth of an entire post, so I have decided to just put together a small list of oddities and anecdotes…
The Nice American Couple- The people here look very similar to home and it has become a running joke with Tam and I. Every time we see someone who looks like they should be from Newport we just refer to them as “The Nice American Couple over there.”
Radiant heat- There are radiant heaters in the homes that hot water circulates through. Since there are no clothes dryers, you just put your clothes on the radiant heaters to dry them. They work great and don’t shrink your clothes.
Merienda- It directly translates to a snack but is when someone will invite you over to their home in the mid-afternoon to hang out and drink mate (green tee). We had our first experience last week (ie we have friends!) and it was great, albeit different than we would have at home.
At home, if you invited over the new neighbors, a glass of wine or a beer would be offered within the first 5 minutes. Here it is tea. You will sit around and drink tea and eat sweets for 4-5 hours and never touch the alcohol. You feel WAY better the next day and, honestly, it gives you a chance to get to know each other better.
This town is full of paradoxes. Here are a few:
There are 20 coffee shops in town similar in style to something you would get in Paris or Florence but the best coffee is at the 24 hour gas station, which has an espresso machine.
Street dogs follow you home but they look like they just won a dog show competition. Pure bread labs, golden retrievers, etc…oh and Max humps all of them. He is in heaven.
The organic food basket delivery that we have has amazing produce but takes some getting used to b/c the eggs are gamy. Same with the chicken and beef.
The ski hill is slammed on most weekends but people generally stay toward the bottom of the mountain, so the top is uncrowded.
Finally, in other news, our goal of getting the kids skiing more is finally being realized. Ads can easily ski down the hill by herself (and doesn’t want you to tell her how to do it) and Hunter is catching on. We finally got the powder we have been waiting for and are expecting a bunch more this week.
The kids are liking school and we have become more friendly with some of the parents. There are definitely some things lost in translation or missed entirely still. A classic example would be last Monday when we all rolled out of bed and got ready for school only to realize it was a national holiday and the school was closed.
We move into our long term home on Saturday and couldn’t be happier. The last 5 weeks has been VERY tight.