In sickness and in health
Everything we've had is relatively minor and perfectly normal when starting a new daycare or hospital job, but it's harder to be sick when you aren't sure the medicine you're buying really is Ibuprofen, and if it is, what the dosage is actually supposed to be. It's not unheard of for kids to be put in hospitals for colds here, so we hesitate to go to a doctor for Blanca.
Also, it's been raining every day for the past week. It's always damp even when it's not raining. The subtropical humidity keeps anything from getting really dry. The shower doesn't have a door or curtain, so water gets all over the bathroom. It's not even really a shower, but a tub with a movable nozzle located about a foot outside the tub. The kitchen sink leaks too, spraying a fine mist when we use it. The tea kettle sprays water, too, when pouring, and we need to use it a lot because we have to boil all our drinking water. We could buy water from the store, but I got tired of carrying it after about a week, so we boil it as the Chinese do, and generally drink it hot as they do as well. We store the water in a very good thermos, which keeps the water hot. It leaks, too.
Every so often we have a blackout in our apartment and a lightbulb explodes.
Travel writers don't write about things like these partly because it's not that interesting, but mostly because it just doesn't matter. The adventure is completely worth it. As long as none of us, especially Blanca, comes down with anything major or chronic due to this trip, we would do this again in a second. The thrill of leaping into the unknown is that good. (After the first few weeks, once we realized that Blanca's new and challenging behavior was more due to being two years old than due to being away from home, we became much happier.)
I love seeing new things and how other people live. When I bought that Ibuprofen (I think it's Ibuprofen), a pharmacist was using a hand scale to weigh herbs for a prescription. She had her abacus, too, all spread out on a glass vitrine. That was a great sight. One of my favorite travel games is Aimless Bus Ride (TM pending). Just hop on a bus outside your hotel or apartment and ride until you see something interesting or are ready to go back, then take the bus back. Cheap and fun. Play it anywhere, even from home. A minor journey into the unknown, with a clear way back. My travel philosophy in a microcosm.
Travelling is like jumping off a high dive. I am far too scared to jump off a high dive, but live in a place where I have no friends and don't know the language and can barely find my way around and don't know what the foods are in the store and have no idea what I'm eating most of the time? Sure, no problem. My travel adventures are relatively physically safe and I still have a life in New York, so it's like jumping into a giant safety net, but the feeling of falling is still incredible.