Day 002 – July 24, 2011
Sometimes it is the little things.
It was while clearing away the plates and flatware from our lunch and preparing to wash our dishes in our non-existent dishwasher that I thought about how much being in a new environment can make me miss the small things.
Our family, through my wife’s work, had received a brochure on culture shock and how to combat it. One of the items on that list was to not let the small things be an obstacle to the larger view of your new world. In other words, the un-packing can wait…go play with your kids or take a walk around your new block.
Well, fiddlesticks to that (and that, my friends, is the most powerful swear word you will read on this blog…or at least, this particular post) because as I stood in our kitchen with a pot full of leftovers, I was definitely in a “sweating-the-small-stuff” frame of mind.
First off, I had no Saran Wrap. We had had a lovely pre-noon meal before our outing with the O’Ryans to Jockey Plaza and I had absolutely no way to save what had not been eaten. We had not thought (oh, silly us) to pack this miracle of modern science in the luggage we took on the airline to Peru and we had not found this product in our sole shopping adventure. I never realized how much I missed Saran Wrap until I didn’t have it. However, I was now stuck with how to resolve my leftovers issues.
One option would have been to simply throw away the food, except we had also foolishly not thought to pack garbage bags in our carry-on luggage. We selfishly thought that clothes might be a better option to tide us over the few weeks it would take for our Air Shipment of Personal Effects to arrive. Garbage bags now go on the list of items to buy at the store.
If disposing of lunch was an issue, it was minor compared to the tribulations that went into making it. First and foremost, the microwave provided to us did not work. Granted that the buttons on this machine were all in Spanish and my command of the langauge is not all that super, but I have been around enough microwave ovens in my time to know the drill.
I pressed “Tiempo” (time), then the numerals on the keypad that corresponded to how much time I wanted microwave radiation to irradiate our family’s food, and then the button labelled “Inicinar” (which either means “Initiate” or “Incinerate”).
Nothing happened. Nothing at all.
We plugged and unplugged the device. We tried different combinations of buttons. We tried re-booting the machine (by which, I mean, I gave serious thought to using my boot to swiftly perform some percussive maintenance on the ill-tempered oven).
All was for naught.
So the afternoon was a series of frustrations both before and after lunch over items I was already missing and this was only our second day here.
Sometimes it really is the little things.