Living in a hot climate for many years, we are never getting used to running into various kind of insects, either jumping in the garden or somewhere inside the house where they, under the cover of darkness, have a tendency to break in.
The scariest of them all … tada! … is THE Flying Cockroach. Once, Hanna was quietly sitting reading a book when she heard a screeching sound from the living room. She then saw Alex running out in panic trying to brush off the rare beast that was glued to his t-shirt. Even when it was long gone, Alex avoided the living room locking himself inside the bedroom armed with a flyswatter.
Then we have different types of spiders. Nasty looking fellas roaming around scaring the living daylights out of Hanna when she accidentally bumps into one. Alex deals with them the old-fashioned way: tries to shoo them out with a broom while standing as far away as possible.
One day Alex got a frantic call from Hanna who could swear that she saw a snake in the backyard. A small commando unit was organized and armed with rocks it arrived at the house within 10 minutes to deal with the poisonous intruder. However, on close inspection the ferocious animal ended up being a small but colorful candy wrapper lying in the grass. Well, better safe than sorry as they used to say.
Sam (our best friend forever) is on the other hand always ready to come to the rescue. He is naturally equipped with all the proper weapons: excellent hearing, sharp teeth and strong paws. As soon as he hears the annoying sound of a fly passing by or sees a cockroach trying to run under the sofa he is on their case faster than a speeding bullet.
What we haven’t come across yet (knock on wood) are real snakes (those made of candy wrappers don’t count, right?) and scorpions. On the other hand, if we did, we probably wouldn’t be writing this right now…
It’s easy to think that living on the road for many years would have made me (Hanna) a better packer. In the best of worlds, I would like to travel extremely light with a tiny bag, only filled with essentials. But my problem is, how do I actually define if a thing is important or not. It depends on the situation, right? One day I might need a toothpick so if I pass by a pharmacy I buy a 6-pack of toothpicks (plus a few XXL bottles of Listerine, kilometers of floss and a 12-pack of tongue cleaners). Customs must be convinced I’m a freelance dentist.
Over the years my suitcase has gotten bigger and bigger and is usually packed with things I deem being of absolute importance (or, more correctly, things I might require at some point in the future).
Yesterday, I came up with the brilliant idea of making food packages to bring back home, since the place we are staying in right now has a really inspiring kitchen. And what if I don’t feel like cooking in the coming 2-3 weeks, then I’m stuck eating Alex’s Special (spaghetti à la ketchup).
Therefore (to avoid a carbs overload), for this trip I prepared a small number of homemade meatballs (80 to be more exact), 4 portions of hamburgers (yes, I got tired of making meatballs) and 6 portions of sweet chili chicken. I was just about to start making another 6 portions of ginger fish, when Alex came to the rescue with one (understandable) question: What the h*^% are you doing?? Where are we gonna fit all this?
What can I say. I realized I once again had broadened the definition of “stuff-that-is-without-any-question-necessary-to-bring-along”.
Sorry to say but the t-shirt necklace we showed here on the blog a couple of days ago was not our last “do-it-yourself” project. Yesterday, I (Hanna) bought some more material and at the end of the day I had made myself a new bracelet. In case you would like to buy it, here is the price based on my supply trip (no profit, of course).
– Yarn (mustard yellow and turquoise): 3 euros (the wooden pearl is my treat)
– First taxi ride: 68 euros (no time to take the bus since Sam was impatiently waiting for me to get back home)
– Snack: 2.50 euros (peanuts and a soft drink to be more specific)
– Second taxi ride: 73 euros (5 euros more expensive on the way back?)
– Two glasses of wine: 6 euros (Hey, try going shopping by yourself…it’s not that fun…)
Total sum for the bracelet = 152.50 euros (195 USD)
– Discount: 2.50 euros (thinking of it, I’m having peanuts and soft drinks every day anyway)
Total price: 150 euros (192 USD)
First come, first served.
– Posted by Hanna –
Who am I? Why am I traveling? All I know is that from a very young age I always wanted to see the world. But to be able to realize my dream I first had to learn basic English (AND finish high-school, AND get a job, AND earn some money, but I was luckily unaware of all that tedious stuff back then). I started studying English in fourth grade and I still remember my second lesson – with horror!
The teacher (I’m sure she was a senior associate of 666 personally) had given us homework and now we were supposed to know how to say the following sentence in English: My name is …… (and fill in with our own names) and I have…… (and say either a ball, a pencil, a book, etc.) No iPhones or iPads back then.
Pretty easy, right?
The teacher started to question us one by one and to her complete satisfaction everyone answered correctly. In the end it was my turn. “Can you say the following sentence in English: my name is Hanna and I have a pencil?” (Obviously she asked this question in Swedish so 10 year old me had to think really hard to come up with the right answer.)
I was nervous like never before and started sweating. My throat was as dry as Lynchburg, Tennessee (OK, maybe an odd reference when you are 10 years old but trust me, if somebody offered me a Jack Daniels I would probably have swung it back without even blinking). I could hardly breathe. The entire class turned in my direction. They were all waiting impatiently to hear the answer. Finally I opened my mouth and said:
“My name is pencil…”
I couldn’t finish the sentence. There was an eruption of laughter in the classroom. It was a slip of the tongue but I don’t think even Eddie Murphy could have pulled off a one-liner as good as this one. The entire class was rolling and the teacher was laughing so hard that her tail started spinning (not exactly a woman of wealth and taste) I told you she was from one of Dante’s circles of hell, right?
After this little blunder, I could no longer enjoy my English language lessons. I also realized that my ambitious plan, to travel and see the world, unfortunately had to be postponed for another couple of years.
N.B. I have now been traveling for the past seven years and my English still hasn’t improved, but my Swedish has gotten worse. Touché.