Friday, April 13, 2012

Life in the Peace Corps: COS'ing Time

I have 8 weeks left before I get to board that plane and go home. School is out and projects are stalled, which means I'm scraping the bottom of my mental barrel for motivation to keep going. Luckily, phone network is back and electricity is up, though my water and pipes are still broken.

I believe that during my whole 24 months here, I can count on my fingers how many months I've actually had the golden 3: water, electricity, and cell phone service. I've gone long stretches without one or the other and it looks like another long stretch is still on the horizon. Still, I'm so impressed with these maintenance guys for actually making it out here after 2 years of meekish complaining that I'm happy with their work. As long as they get my toilet flushable by the weekend, and some sort of tap on, I'll be content as a clam. Who cares if I have to wash my face in a bucket and brush my teeth with a tin can!

There are 5 workers here today. 2 for doing actual work and 3 to just stand around, watch, and nod. It's hard work. They already dug up all the pipes in my backyard and are currently in the process of replacing each one.

I came out this morning snotty nosed and sleepy eyed at 8:30 AM and was immediately told by the 1 female worker that I should use the toilet. What she meant was, I CAN use the toilet. But, being so accustomed to my mom's bossing around, I immediately turned around, headed inside, and pee'd. She says I can flush, but I'm going to wait to do that. Since there are 5 men in the backyard monitoring my every move, I don't want them to know that I used the can. For some reason, despite having bathed by moonlight, dumped in the bushes, and sweated like a man while spending 5 days in a truck without bathing, I still feel the need to exhibit some sort of dainty female propriety around others. I still don't fart around strangers, unless I'm asleep.

Last weekend was Easter weekend, and while children at home to the delight of their parents ran around the yards finding colorful easter eggs, my friends and I were reading online about the origins of the easter egg and other easter treats. It was a jolly good time, we even roasted a chicken! On the way there, I took the bus. Disillusioned by the sight of a full bus station, I was rushing, stepped onto the curb and fell flat on my face, scraping my knee for the first time since I was out of a training bra. I've been watching the scab heal with deep fascination for the past few days. Like seeing an ant farm for the first time, every few minutes I glance down to see how far the healing process has come, if it's changed colors, or if any of the ants have sprouted wings yet.

On the way home, I chose instead to hitchhike. Before I even got to the hiking spot, a car was already waiting for me. "Get in," the man in the front said, like something out of a stick up or kidnapping. Like the good asian daughter I am, I immediately obeyed, grabbed the door handle, and then stopped, "Wait, where are we going?"

As we headed down the highway I asked the man, "You pick me because I'm not white wait yes white I am?" What I meant to say was, "How did you know I was going to town? Is it because I'm white?" He answered back, "... no?" and then said, "You're not white, you're pink!" We all 4 in the car giggled. Then he asked if I had a boyfriend. "Yes, a very big man from New York City and he misses me very much." And we traveled the rest of the way in blissful silence...


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