So, I’ve been here three weeks and I’ve been trying to record all the differences at play that have come up over time. Here are the ones I managed to remember and hopefully will record more as they come up.
a) So…. after that last post, I actually realized I cannot even watch the Olympics here. I don’t have a television here (and seeing as how I survived without one for a long time, and didn’t even have fast internet, I figured it was going to be okay). Well, it wasn’t. Being on US soil means that you can watch but only for a maximum of 30 minutes — like a teaser. After that, you have to log-in with your television provider. Well, I don’t have a television provider since I don’t have a television…. and I used up my 30 minutes of free Olympics watching scrolling through every possible page on the nbcolympics.com website to figure out how to work around it. (Don’t worry, I worked around it with the help of my family.. but only after a number of random panic-y texts).
b) Boxed milk. I don’t drink that much milk or eat that much dairy (although I must say my desire for yogurt (not to mention cheese) did grow quite strong while I lived in Saipan). In Saipan, you drink boxed milk. Why? Because fresh milk was well, not exactly fresh. A gallon or half gallon of fresh milk costs you an arm and a leg but also probably expires in a few days. For those of you who have never made the distinction between milk as fresh milk or non-fresh milk … see! you get the gist. Boxed milk does have its merits I see now though. I couldn’t really discern the difference between tastes first of all. I believe when I was a kid, I went back to Taiwan where they mostly had boxed milk or powdered milk and it apparently tasted unpalatable to me. But, at this point in my life, I couldn’t tell the difference. Anyway, I either drank it with cereal or in my coffee basically. That brings me to the crux of the problem – I don’t drink milk that often. Fresh milk, even though it lasts much longer here, does not last long enough in my refrigerator for me to consume it and draining the milk down the drain feels soul wrenching and difficult. I think I will change to just buying small pints of milk only as needed.
c) On the topic of drinks, I cannot buy boxed coconut water. I just can’t do it. Even though I love the stuff, the idea that it is in a box after I drank it fresh seems just wrong. The rehydrating powers do call to me, so ask me if you see me — maybe I’ll have given in by then. If so, will let you know how it tastes.
d) You can order food on an app on your phone? This I guess it not that far fetched as I do recall ordering things like pizza on the phone. How different is it to type it into an app on the computer. These apps are quite crazy though with pictures of the foods, healthy options, they give you meal plans, gluten-free plans, etc. I still haven’t tried one of these but they strangely intrigue me.
e) I knew inherently that I would order more things online here. Many things have free shipping and it comes much faster, and the idea of needing to return something is not quite as daunting. What I didn’t know was all of a sudden I had to think about the security of my packages — how do they get from the postman’s hands and to my apartment without someone swiping the package? Turns out my place is extremely safe and it seems to go off without a hitch except when no one is at apartment and the postman has no way to get in to drop off the mail. :/ (oh, and the keypad to automatically unlock the door from the call box is the only thing in San Francisco that does not use long-distance technology so it cannot connect to my non-local San Francisco phone number)
f) I find myself constantly thinking about how to either save money or save time. More of the latter. No additional comments about that. That’s just how it is here.
g) I feel like I surprisingly quickly acclimated to being here. No, that doesn’t mean I’m used to living here by any means. But, things like my strong craving for strawberries and Mexican food have subsided to almost the dull boredom of the people here — the people who have lived around having everything at their finger tips. I cook mostly at home — mostly similar things to what I ate in Saipan and have not really visited many restaurants. I guess just knowing they are there is enough. (That being said, I have eaten more zucchini (it’s so fresh!) than I have eaten in my whole life probably)
So, lots still a work in progress. Will keep you all posted!
And, a throwback picture for fun..