Travel::Kids::Tech::Foreign Service

So easy it’s cheating

Living in the States, at least here in NoVA, is so easy it feels like cheating.  The stores have food, driving is pleasant, you can even drink the water.

This is why I say “here in NoVA,” by the way – I’m not about to drink the water in my hometown.  I doubt it’s actually poisonous, but I also doubt it’s really fit for human consumption.  Up until I was about 18, I thought ice cubes were supposed to be opaque white and sink to the bottom.  And that it was normal for your glasses to not be see-through after a few months of use.

Meanwhile, back at our place in Caracas, the cold water line to the washer ruptured, spraying water everywhere.  Now there’s no rinse cycle, and wash in seriously hot only.  Additionally, the dishwasher now trips the breaker whenever you turn it on.  I guess these are mostly irrelevant, though, as the apartment hasn’t had water all weekend.  Even without water, somehow the wall next to the master bathroom started leaking yesterday – apparently the air conditioner broke and is flooding inside the wall.

As the walls are poured concrete, this could be fun.

Here in the developed world, Mal and I are enjoying our condo.  I guess it’s a condo, I’m never clear on what the difference is between an apartment and a condominium.  It’s on the top floor (which in this area means 3rd), so there’s only one wall and the floor that are shared.  It’s a two-story place, with the upper floor being all Mal’s – bedroom, bathroom, and play area overlooking the living room.  He is a big fan of having his own aerie, and also of the jacuzzi tub and the fireplace you switch on.

I could use a bit more kitchen, but it suffices, and the place is light and airy and nice.

I could also use an elevator for getting furniture in.  I’m not sure what to do about a couch – I really don’t want to haul one up four flights and then back down in 6 months.  And I’m staying with the air mattresses as much as I don’t like them, same reason.

However, the water works, and the heat works, and the electricity works, and it’s quiet.  No one’s blasting Gangnam Style at 2:00 am.  There are not hordes of purse-size dogs yapping in the concrete stairwells.  The floor and surfaces aren’t covered in gritty black diesel exhaust.  I can walk to the grocery store, and they have food there.

I remember when we got back from Romania I almost started crying in Giant (this was in the bad old days, before Romania was part of the EU, right after Ceaucescu died).  Nothing makes you appreciate the US like not living in it.


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