Day 013 Randomocity
Day 013 – August 4, 2011
Names to Know
Cruising once again through our local grocery store, I meandered my way into the school supply section to buy those last items for our children that we had not been able to find.
While looking through some of the supplies, I noticed that, as in the United States, the makers of folders place characters from children’s television shows on the covers in an effort to induce the little ones to induce (usually through high-pitched pleading) their parents to buy their wares.
Some of the characters were familiar to me such as Barbie, Bakugan, Monster High, and anything Disney (especially the princesses).
However, there were some characters new to me. There was a live action character named Patito Feo (“Ugly Ducking” in English) which looks like a cross between Ugly Betty and Yo soy Betty, la fea.
The computer-animated action series Max Steel is also fairly popular here. Not only have I seen school supplies emblazoned with this character, but his action figures (oh, don’t call them “dolls”) and DVDs are routinely available for sale.
There are also lines of female cartoon characters with names like Julieta, Antonia, and Pascualina that also grace the covers of many school supplies.
(Okay, odd side note here, but I could not find any Google reference to the characters Julieta and Antonia. Have I found something that is not on the Internet?!?)
Size Does Matter
For lunch, to celebrate my children’s first day of school, I treated myself to a hamburger, fries, and soda at our local Burger King. I requested, because I was a hungry man, that my combo be made grande, their largest size.
Now, in the United States, the large combo means that the carbonated beverage of your choice will be delivered in a cup that has its own ZIP code. Usually forty-two ounces in capacity, I have also seen fifty-two ounce Leviathans.
So, the surprise on my face was palpable when my Sprite was handed to me in a measly twenty-ounce container.
They might as well have handed me a thimble.
Almost as Big as Soccer
Soccer Futbol rules the sporting roost here in Peru, but there is a serious contender for the silver medal.
Volleyball, or voleibol in Spanish or volei for short, is big here. It was news of epic proportions when the national women’s volei team lost to the Dominican Republic 4 games to 1 earlier this week.
Volei is listed as one of the after-school activities that my children can participate in – both boys and girls.
This sport has its own section in the sports page of the newspaper I have been reading this week, El Comercio.
Natalia Malaga, an Olympic volleyball player for Peru, gets a center-page spread interview in the August 3rd edition of El Comercio plus she appears as the spokesperson for a pain relief medicine here in Peru. (It’s Apronax in case you want to win a bar bet.)
However, I have not seen any school supplies featuring Senora Malaga.
…Nothing Like the Sun
The clouds parted tonight and I was able to catch my first glimpse of the Moon here in the Southern Hemisphere.
While the astro-nerd in me was happy to see our planet’s natural satellite for the first time down here, I was doubly pleased because my inaugural glimpse of Luna was when it was in my favorite phase, the waxing crescent.
Yes, I have a favorite phase of the moon (please see the preceding sentence where I use the term “astro-nerd” as a self-descriptor).
The waxing crescent reminds me that life follows circular patterns. When things seems down and hopeless, I try to remember that the circle will come around again and things will pick up. Just as the moon wanes and fades to the dark of the new moon, it grows and waxes anew to cast the light during the dark.
As I wax and wane in my ability to cope with the pressures of learning a new langauge and culture, with finding my way in a post-employment world, and in fighting the self-deprecator in my head who tells me I can’t write worth @#&%!, I remember the Moon.
And with that, Day 013 was finished.