Next, you have to have gas to cook things, which means I had to buy a tank. This is after I had already almost spent my entire monthly allowance on things like a bed, a stove, the big tubs to put the water in, etc
. So I bought a used tank. Well, of course it has to be painted, so I had to buy that (by the way, you cannot have a blue tank, as I would have liked...the man at the paint store made me buy green. I have no idea why). And of course it had to have a leak, so I spent more money to get that fixed so my house doesn´t blow up. All this took an entire day to do. Then, in filling the tank with gas, I had to take it to the Bomba (gas station) way out in the campo, by riding on the back of a motoconcho, the tank between myself and the driver, praying to God that we didn´t have an accident with the tank poised on my lap. Things like this never seem to frighten Dominicans. Luckily, I had my helmet on, so if an explosion occured, my head would not suffer any harm, though I wouldn´t be able to say the same for the rest of my body.
Once finally settled in, I found myself in awe of the fact that I have a two bedroom house with a laundry room, kitchen, bathroom, for about 60 dollars a month, American, when my tiny studio apartment in San diego ran me 800 dollars a month. Unfortunately, at least I had electricity and running water all the time, but some things you realize you don´t really need as much.
So I have begun to enjoy the benefits of living alone, but also suffer the inconveniences
. For instance, there are the cockroaches. They like to come up through my window in my kitchen when the electricity goes out. People here can´t understand why Americans are afraid of cockroaches, because they don´t bite. Well, I could care less what they do or don´t do as long as it´s not within 100 feet of me. These aren´t normal cockroaches either. They are mutant cockroaches from outterspace that fly and range from about 2-4 inches long. They are not afraid of humans either. You can spray roach spray at them and they dance around like they are getting a shower and then keep running at you. You can smack them with your shoe and they get up and keep running. I have found that I have to be about 300 times more meticulous with cleaning my kitchen than I ever was in the States. If even one dish is left unattended in the sink, or one crumb falls on the floor, the Cockroaches decide to have a fiesta, thinking that I have provided the refreshments. Luckily, after a few days of sheer terror and facing up to my fears by challenging the cockroaches (shouting ¨bring it on you $*@^ roach! you wanna piece of ME?¨) to a duel I was victorious and no roaches made it out alive, so they stopped coming around. I found that the ones that did somehow would end up dead by their own accord, possibly committing suicide once they realized that there was no fiesta for them to attend. Either way, a dead roach is a good roach in my book.
The neighbors around my casa have taken to me and Ana and Germania have come around to inspect the place and ¨oohed¨ and ¨awed¨ as they opened my fridge and observed how I had hung my pans on the walll, etc, very proud that I could function in a house all by myself. Of course I get the same lecture every day about leaving candles burning and not answering the door for anyone and screaming really loud if I need them, and how I have to cook rice at least once a day blah blah blah. It becomes redundant and I realize that they forget that I lived alone in the states for some time, and that I am 27 years old, but I find it is better to nod and thank them for caring so much about me, and I do.
Yes, it is true,your little Lisa is now the domesticated woman.....well, sort of. I say this because I finally moved into my new house this week! It was such a relief and pain at the same time. There are so many more things that one has to think about when having a house in the DR. For instance, the water only comes on about every other day in the morning, so you have to have some sort of large tub of some sort to fill with water so you can take a bath and also do dishes or wash clothes or whatever. If you forget, you find that you have to borrow water from the neighbors. Something they don´t mind once, but I am sure that if I do it again, they might not like me too much.