first thing is HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY MOM! Love you Mom!
one of the things we noticed is that the longer we are here the more we find ourselves missing a certain word in our vocabulary. so we will try to say something to one another and find we cant think of the word we want. I imagine this is what its like for the kids as they are learning English, they dont know enough English to tell what they want, but the word in their native language escapes them, thus making them unable to communicate their needs. Imagine how frustrating that would be!
anotehr this is that grammar rules are different here. and people who speak broken English(the people we deal with the most) mix up tenses or word order. I find myself asking things like "why you not do this?"
Buildings here are much different than home. there is not a smoke detector in our entire apartment. none in the hall that I am aware of. there are open wires and fuse boxes in hallways, hanging light fixtures are common. things that would just never pass muster at home are very commonplace here. The place we live right now is on the 5th floor. there is no light on the stairs between floors 2 and 3 and the lights on the other floors are very dim and do not carry down the stairwell. even in the daytime it is very dark to take the stairs. the elevator does not always go to floor 5. sometimes it only goes to 4 and you have to walk the rest. sometimes at floor 5 you call the elevator and it only comes to 4 and you have to walk down to it. sometimes you get in and it goes straight up to 5 no problem but you have to be prepared in case it doesnt because you never know when it will or wont. the apartment itself is small but very nice. the hallways are dark dingy dirty and in some cases downright scary!
the center line is routinely used to make another lane when driving. we walk everywhere we go unless its official business then there is usually a car that picks us up. we would not make it far if we had to drive here! One of our drivers told us that women have only begun to drive here after many years of only men drivers. they refer to them as a monkey with a hand grenade, not sure if I mentioned this before. this same driver has told us many interesting facts about this country. including how to make borcht! he speaks great English(not perfect but we can easily communicate about most topics) and he tells us of his little girl. she is 1. he also told us basswood tree flowers and leaves are used to make tea. never heard of that before.