33 things I would have found odd 18 months ago but find completely normal at this point

it’s cold and jazz is really suffering.

1. I own a machete. Yes.

2. I wake up and it’s raining. No work and I get to sleep in!

3. I have a gas stove that I light with matches.

4. I don’t have a kitchen sink in my house. Instead, I wash dishes in a bucket outside and they dry on a towel on my table.

5. I peel vegetables on my kitchen floor and then sweep them out for the chickens.

6. Sleeping in a mosquito net. It’s a little safe cocoon of no bites or buzzing.

7. Sardines and olives are a completely acceptable dinner. I obviously live alone.

8. It’s Sunday afternoon and there’s nothing in my fridge. Popcorn for dinner it is!

9. 4 dollars/20,000 Gs.: WAY too much for a mixed drink.

10. Children playing, running and crossing through my yard all the time, and occasionally just coming into my house.

11. Another family lives in the back of my yard. It’s cool.

12. Not talking or even acknowledging men sitting next to me unless they ask me a question. If they do, I answer them with a bitchface on. I learned not to be polite the hard way. Every time I have been polite it has turned into unwanted novio attention.

13. My dog chewing on random animal parts/skulls in the front yard.

14. Mate in bed, maybe someone else’s bed.

15. Kids only have 4 hours of class a day. Half days, half the amount of space and teachers needed.

16. Coffee days are exciting.

17. Holding a stranger’s child on a bus ride.

18. Sharing a popsicle with a child I just met.

19. I have two holes in the concrete floor of my house. One was here when I moved in and the other was dug by my dog. My dog digs holes in my floor.

20. Daily prayer at the beginning of class in public school.

21. Baking without exactly knowing the temperature my oven is at.

22. The ability to sleep through gunfire. I’m so used to fireworks and dogs barking at night.

23. Toilet paper goes in a wastebasket. Paraguay’s plumbing will implode if you flush it.

24. Roosters, pigs, cows, horses in my yard.

25. Naps at neighbors’ houses. Sometimes and usually sharing a sleeping surface.

26. Naps at students’ houses.  Sometimes and usually sharing a sleeping surface.

27. Naps.

28. Sharing the same beer or glass or bombilla (straw for mate/tereré) between several people.

29. Elbowing out someone my grandmother’s age from cutting in front of me in the bus line. It’s a dog eat dog world out there!

30. Showering every 3(ish) days during winter.

31. Cornstarch in hair as dry shampoo (it works!).

32. “E’A!” – the expression/noise in Guaraní for “WHOA!

33. Electric showers.


About Nicole FR

Just an old soul in limbo.
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7 Responses to 33 things I would have found odd 18 months ago but find completely normal at this point

  1. Jill Anderson says:

    This is great and I remember doing all of those except for # 21 because I never baked but I did do a lot of #8 eating pororo for dinner! -G-23 Horqueta

    • Nicole FR says:

      G23! Great to hear from an ex PCPY-er, Jill. I hope life in the states is treating you well. I’m a little worried, not going to lie.

    • Nicole FR says:

      OH! and by ex I meant RETURNED. I don’t think we are ever “ex.” Maybe never quite “returned” either.

  2. Tracey W. says:

    I can relate to most 🙂 You can do just about anything from now on!

  3. martha says:

    Cool Nicole to read your list….we have heard about many of them over skype but not ALL.
    did not know about #11, a family living in your back yard
    and I love #17, holding a stranger’s child hand.


    • Nicole FR says:

      #17 – She was actually sitting on my lap on a crowded bus :). Quite common here if you see a parent get on but there are no seats left. Better than letting the 2 year old stand for 3 hours!

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