Today started like any normal day. Around 7am my fan kicked back in, as that is when the electricity is turned back on. Then the fan decided to magically face plant into the floor and startle me to jump up from my half-awake state. I guess time to get up and start the day.
I cooked oatmeal for breakfast adding coconut, cinnamon and raisins. One cup turkish coffee all while watching one episode of 'Mountain Man.' After my food settled, I did my 50 minute insanity workout. Then did a load of laundry. Hand wash of course. The weather was perfect for line drying; clear sky, mild breeze, not too hot. This afternoon I received a call from my mother. She likes to wake at 4am her time and call me about updates. All is good back home, but if anyone in the Bismarck area and would love to mow the lawn, my father would be grateful. He has retired this task.
I decided tonight I should make a hearty dinner as the past three days my meals have been oatmeal and soup (not together). So my tomato search started so I could make some pasta sauce.
Store one is the closest to my home. They have vegetables about 50% of the time, but today, nothing.
Store two is a good 30 minute walk from my home. This store I dislike going to since there are always about 5 men sitting outside and just stare at me then giggle like 5 year olds. I always make a point to say salam to them to freak them out. This is usually my "go to" store for vegetables, but they were out.
Store three is in the opposite direction about 30 minutes from store two. The man that owns this store always seems so crabby. His two sons are sometimes working there (two students of mine), but as luck would have it, they were not working. Just the crabby man. Again, no veggies.
Store four is 15 minutes from the previous store. I had been told not to go to this store (when I first arrived at site) as it was where the men hang out and play games and drink beer. I, of course, do not listen to this craziness because I am the strange foreigner and push the limits. The men who do hang out there are usually teachers from school so I never have problems anyway. They are very courteous to me. Turns out they had tomatoes! Also bread! Finally store no.4 wins!
On my walk home there was a group of boys playing volleyball in the school yard surrounded by grazing cows. One woman was sitting outside her clothing store entertaining her grandchild. I stopped to say salam for a bit. I took out a recently purchased bag of chips and chomp away while walking home. Again, eating in public is not the norm, but I do it anyway to push boundaries.
Upon arriving home I drop off my things and head to my neighbors.
MY. NEIGHBORS. (in a teeth-clenched tone)
I could write a separate blog all about my them called "The Crap My Neighbors Do." Let's just say, their definition of hospitality is different then mine.
Lets back up a bit...
The beginning of this summer I receive a call from my landlady saying she wanted to move into my kitchen for a month. I said that was fine as I was travelling for a month and she would be out when I returned home. Turns out, she lied. It turned into ALL summer. I came home for one week with her living in close quarters. I was so stressed that I became extremely ill for three days. Let's just say, I was happy to leave after that week.
My landlady called me earlier this week saying she would be leaving Monday and would hand the key to the kitchen to this neighbor girl. I told her I would be coming back home two days later on Wednesday. I arrive home and this girl wasn't home (which is strange because she is always home). She finally comes over Saturday saying she would bring them the following day. Sunday (today) I walk over there and she tells me she lost the key. It fell out of her pocket. She of course was not planning on coming over to tell me this. My blood starts to boil and I tell her there will be a problem if I do not have this new lock tomorrow (as this is the new plan). And, yes, I will make it a problem.
I moved into this house April 2011 and have caught onto their tricks. The past few days they have randomly been giving me food: eggs, jam, bread. Usually, I have to ask for these items, but they voluntarily came over and hand delivered them. The following are the reasons they give me food:
1. I ask directly
2. I have guests and they want to appear to be hospitable, so they come with fresh bread, eggs, milk, etc.
3. They know they have upset me in some way (due to our difference in the definition of hospitality). OR
4. They know I will become upset at them for "poop is about to hit the fan"
In this case. Option four.
I feel I have been blessed with an extreme amount of patience. Sometimes a curse, really, as I can be a tad laid-back. I have only yelled at two people in my life (you know who you are). So you have to be extremely irrational for me to loose my temper. My neighbors have pushed my limit on numerous occasions. Then they bring food and it heals all.
I want to stress that I do love people in my community, just not a few selected people I call....NEIGHBORS.