Today was more work than fun, if you call sitting in a bus and searching for a place to change money on a Saturday work. It’s the little differences of being in a foreign country that really make you think twice, like using GPS to tell the bus driver when to stop, not being able to understand the answer after finally managing to formulate a question or being unaware of the local customs.
If I would wave to a bus driver in Germany he’d probably ignore me, wave back or look at me as if I’d commited a crime. Here the bus stops and lets you enter. That’s freaking awesome!
Being a German I tend to offer people my hand when I greet them. Here a handshake is like the signing of a contract. Luckily the locals are used to ignorant foreigners 😀
In Germany I throw my toiletpaper in the toilet after using it. Here, there is a bin next to the toilet intended for the used paper. (this takes getting used to 😉 ) Apparently the pipes underneath are so small that paper clogs them.
We have two seperate showers next to each other. One has only hot water. The other one only cold water. While showering, the best is to jump from one shower to the other really really fast, like Speedy Gonzales, so that the water on your skin gets the correct temperature before your nerves register the water. We are working on that one, but I assume the shower is not working as intended.
What really amazes us is the friendliness of the people! Although many have less than little they are very polite and just as friendly. Like the sun here in Paraguay, their smiles warm our hearts. Every day.
And the food. I’ve got the feeling that where I come from it’s the exact opposite of here. In Germany, food induced with taste enrichments and artificial vitamins sells like crazy and is cheaper than fruits/vegetables. In Paraguay it’s the exact opposite.
Where there’s food there’s drink. The only thing we drink here is Mate, or Tereré, which is cold Mate . It is possible to change the flavor by adding additional herbs and it’s even supposed to be healthy. The water is filled into a special thermos, the Yerba tea is filled into a special cup called guampa (right). As you can see in the picture, it has a bombilla in it, an awsome invention for tea drinkers. It’s a mixture between a spoon, a straw and a sieve. This way to drink tea causes less pollution and you can use the same tea multiple times. The leaves are in the cup and not the thermos, remember? The bombila filters out the tea leaves.
I find it strange that people living in the great rich countries of the world think they are so sophisticated when it comes to such basic things as health (pills pills pills), food (fast food ftw) or drink (Coca Cola is it). The locals here have much less and act so much smarter. Common sense is a type of intelligence and the scary thing is it can be unlearnt (TV , false knowledge passed on through generations). Scary when you think of it.