Friday, May 6, 2016

A typical day in Granada

This is Elise.
   I open the door to walk the girls to school and find two horses roaming loose on the street.  I guess people let their horses loose to graze where they can catch them again.  We walk on the shady side of the street to stay out of the sun since it is already hot at 8am.  We get to school and find out that every Friday is casual dress day and gets out at one instead of three.  I stop at the dentist on the way back and change our dental cleaning to Monday at three instead of today at three because I don't want to have to walk back home then back to the dentist.  I come home to do a blog entry while a maid cleans the house.  We have maid service three times a week at this house and twice a week at our new rental included in the $1200 month rent.  Human labor is incredibly cheap here.  I could have a full time maid 5 full days and a half day on Saturday for $200 a month.  I don't even know that I would want that much maid service.
     Sierra wants me to mail a postcard to her old class so I walk to the post office.  I expect it to be expensive to mail something to the States and it will probably take weeks.  What I don't expect is to be told that they can't send it.  Huh?  I ask about where I could mail it.  My Spanish comprehension is weak and I got something about maybe tomorrow they could mail it.  I walked out feeling baffled.  Later I asked our property manager from Vermont about it and he said they were probably out of stamps.  Yes, that is what the lady at the post office was saying.  Something about impuesto(stamps/ or taxes). No wonder I didn't understand.  Who would guess that the post office runs out of stamps so nothing can be sent anywhere.
     At least I was able to finally buy some white polo shirts for Zoe for school.  I learned that you really have to ask for what you are looking for at a store.  This store I walked into had toys, coolers, and various other items.  I asked about shirts and they brought some out from a cubby hole behind the counter.  They were 180 cordobas (about $6.50).  The school said I should only be paying about 140 cordobas but this price was much better than the 250 cordobas the other shop was trying to charge me.  Gringo prices.  They see our faces and try to charge us more for everything.  I will get better at knowing how much things should cost and bargaining as time goes on but right now I am still learning.  Besides, they are nice shirts for the price.  Some thing are so much cheaper here.  I bought mint for mojitos at the mercado for 14 cents. The mercado is an open air area of town with little stalls of people selling their stuff like eggs and produce.  It's a little chaotic in there. I need to get used to buying some things there because it is sooo much cheaper than the grocery store.

     For now, we are going to try to get settled in and adjusted here in Granada.  Mike and I like it a lot.  The kids not so much.  Zoe is struggling to adjust and is often very emotional.  I am often racked with guilt for taking them away from their home.  I know every move takes time and we will give it a few months here. We have a six month lease and I figure by the end of that time we will know if Granada is right for us. Some of the things that charm us now may get on our nerves in a few months.  Or maybe we will all adjust and adapt and come to really like it.  Only time will tell.  We are looking at business opportunities here to see how we could make a living.  I do feel like there are some untapped niches here but there could be unknown pitfalls as well.  We are just doing our research and not making any big decisions now.  IF, we still like it after a few months, AND the kids like it then we MIGHT invest here. Plan B could be anything from just moving out of town to a place with a little land to moving back to the States.  It's difficult to say at this point.
     We have chosen to live without a car for now.  It is easy to walk everywhere.  If I get tired or have too many groceries, it is easy to hail a taxi here for about 50 cents.  The taxis are so cheap because they operate more like a "collectivo" in that they will pick up more than one fare at a time.  A taxi will already have someone in it and will pull over to see where you are going.  If you are going the same direction as they person already in the cab then the driver says you can get in.  Sometimes they charge per person so it's good to establish the fare before getting in.

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