Archive for June, 2008

Go Bears?

June 13, 2008

The new futon just arrived!  In time for my parent’s visit next week, and our month-long visitor in July.

I had a very interesting conversation with one of the futon deliverymen.  I was speaking to him in Spanish and it came time for the payment and he said to me in English, “please sign the form here and put the date.  I think from your accent you might speak some English.”  I said, why yes, I do speak English.  He asked where I was from and I said originally Missouri, but we came here from California.  (I often add the California part because people are usually looking for a connection and people are more likely to have a connection with California than Missouri.)

So, he starts talking to me about all the Western movies set in Missouri and how it appears to be a rough state, if Clint Eastwood is its representative.  Then he tells me he grew up in California.  I asked where and he said San José, and then he went to high school in Oakland and then Cal State Hayward and attended  UC Berkeley (to which he said, “Go Bears!”).

We were stunned.

I often talk to people who have spent some time in California and we exchange some pleasantries about how nice the BART is or the bridges or the weather, but I hadn’t spoken to anyone who really grew up there.  He also had the best English of anyone who has tried to practice their English with me.

We were left speechless, with our new futon.

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Rain

June 10, 2008

The rainy season is upon us.  For the last several nights it has been raining through the night and today it has been raining all morning.  And it has cooled off considerably.  I had to dig out a thin sweater this morning to wear over my short-sleeved shirt (it’s not that cold, I am wearing sandals).

I’m hoping this is what the lettuce was waiting for and it will take off and we will be eating home-grown salads in no time.

Fruit salad, of sorts

June 8, 2008

We had our first real rain of the rainy season last night and I am looking forward to the thunderstorms to come. The lights only flickered once, so we cannot count this one in the “serious thunderstorm” category. But, I’m ok with that as we were having an impromptu party. (My friend called yesterday at about 6:30 to tell us that the former location of the party we were going to attend needed to be changed and she was nominating our house.)

In the morning, I went to the Abastos market with another friend while we left her 7-month-old baby with Adolfo. We were able to find all kinds of treasures and I got up the nerve to buy my first two guanábanas! I will soon try to make them into guanábana juice. I also purchased some pitayas (which are in season now), several tunas, a papaya and a bunch of baby bananas. (Hopefully, Adolfo will post some photos soon…)

(Also, I’m not going to link to the Wikipedia definition of Pitayas because they’ve got it all wrong. They are confusing two different fruits – here, one is called Pitayas and is the fruit of the Organ Pipe cactus and the other is called Pitahayas and I’ve never seen one in person. Of the second, the name in English is supposed to be Dragon Fruit.)

I’ve also recently re-discovered a cheese that I once had a taste test of, bought it, ate it, and could never find it again. My problem? I was describing the cheese to the cheese lady as “it was a lot like Mozzarella, but wasn’t called Mozzarella.” What was the cheese actually labeled? Cheddar! Of course, it tastes nothing like any cheddar I ever knew. So, if you need a mild, creamy, Mozzarella-like white cheese – ask for Cheddar.

Also, I found (with the brilliant assistance of the party-moving friend) a great bakery. I bought about 8 or 10 cups of croûtons and two small loaves of bread (like for sub sandwiches) for about $3 USD. Sadly, I cannot remember the nifty name of this bakery! I do know where it is located, so not to worry, I’ll be back.