Saturday, December 14, 2013


One of my favorite parts of living here is how much multi-tasking I'm now able to do while in traffic.  I buy my lemons and oranges from street vendors, I consider avocados, I look sadly at the puppies offered for sale, I once bought a cover for my phone, and I get my windows washed when they need it (and occasionally when they don't--but they pretty much always do, there's a lot of dirt in the air here apparently).

Yesterday I was a few minutes early for picking up Abigail at school and I saw some guys approaching a car behind me to wash it's windows (the driver didn't look too excited about it) and I shouted at them to come and wash my car, which has been dusty and in need of a wash.  They quickly started soaping it up, after giving me a surprised glance.

When the light turned green I had to turn, so I told them to meet me over at the side of the road.  They ran over and washed my car very thoroughly and with careful attention--at rapid speed.  They finished the whole thing and did a thorough rinse from a barrel of clean water (I didn't know about the clean water barrel, the rinse was a bonus I didn't expect) in only six minutes.  I wasn't sure how much they'd expect and I hoped what I scraped together would be enough--but they seemed happy enough and told me to give a shout anytime I needed another wash.

Every multi-tasking bone in my body glows with my traffic light transactions.  :)

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Santa Time!

We were told Santa would come at 4:00 this afternoon.  That time was not posted anywhere in the store, it just said he was coming in "0" days (they had been counting down) on the sign.  I had asked yesterday and called this morning, and been told both times that Santa would come at 4:00.  Owen thought I was delusional making the family go to La Sirena at 4:00 because of course there would be no sign of him, but we got there at 4:10.  He was no where to be seen, nor was there any sign of anything imminent, so I went to "Servicio al Cliente" and asked when he'd be coming.

"4:00" they told me.  
"Well, it's 4:10."
"4:30, he'll be here at 4:30."

Hmm . . .

So we went shopping and killed some time and at 4:30 we stopped back at Santa's station.  He wasn't there.  Back to Servicio al Cliente.  So, about Santa's visit . . .

"He's here, they assured me.  He's getting ready.  15 minutes."
"Will he be here tomorrow?  We have dinner guests coming."
"No, just today.  I think you should wait, he's almost ready."

So by 10 of 5:00 Owen started to get antsy, "Val, people are coming for supper, we have to leave.  We can go to another place to see him another day."

But, oh no! I was not about to do the whole scenario all over again tomorrow!

Finally, right around 5:00, Santa emerged from Customer Service.  And then Owen and I really almost lost it, well, OK, I did.  He proceeded to take pictures and hold babies for about 10 minutes as he crossed over to his Santa chair, paying no attention to the line of people who'd been waiting for an hour for him and posing for random phone shots with people walking by.

As soon as he sat down, we pulled out Owen's cell phone (I don't know why I assumed there'd be a photographer there, still too new here I guess) and got the picture above.  The kids looked green and I had to doctor it up as well as I could on SkyDrive, but Merry Christmas!  We got our picture!