So. This evening I took a walk around the city. It was the first time I'd just gone for a long walk since I got here, and it was really nice. So I was walking along, passing through the city square, when I hear this truck coming up behind me. You know how sometimes when something loud approaches, you'll see someone on a cell phone run away from it, clutching the phone tightly to their ear?
That happened with a girl in front of me. A loud truck was coming--it made sense. And it made even more sense when it turned out to be one of the huge trucks that drives around the city spraying everything with water. Turns out *everyone* else knew it was coming somehow, so after it passed *I* was left standing alone in the road with my left side completely soaked. In case you've forgotten, it was in the city square, so about eighty percent of the city's population saw it and immediately burst into laughter. Including me, actually--I threw them a thumbs up (which I hope isn't a bad gesture here), and couldn't stop laughing for about twenty minutes.
People kept giving me strange looks as they saw me walking down the street half-soaked, though. But seriously--if you had huge trucks driving around your city for the exclusive purpose of spraying massive amounts of water everywhere, surely you wouldn't be that surprised to see the occasional person with one side of his body drenched.
There are so many situations every day in which I do the exact wrong thing. Walking in the grocery store today, a guy tried to hand me a box of something or another that was long and rectangular, red, with a picture of bees and a honeycomb on it. I thought he was trying to get me to buy it, and stood there trying to get him to understand that I didn't want it. Finally he just threw it in my bag--it was a free sample. I opened it when I got home. I think it might be toothpaste--there's a picture of a smile on one side of the box. But then, toothpaste is one of those things... If it's not toothpaste, you *really* don't want to be using it like it is.
I definitely need people to be understanding and graceful. But they are. And I love that they're so ready to accept that I have no idea what I'm doing.
It's so funny here to watch people with children as you walk towards them. Parents or grandparents immediately bend down to their children, however young, and start shaking them or poking them in the ribs, trying to get them to speak something in English to you. If they do, it's a resounding "Hello!" before they immediately hide behind the adult.