The first week …
After a couple of stops and many hours later, I arrived at my final destination nb: it is always best to pay a bit extra for your fare and take the direct route as 2 stops overs and a heavy carry on luggage will earn you a mouthful of abuse for holding up lines onboard, thankfully I couldn’t understand a word said :)
The apartment is pretty special, it’s a very modern high gloss black and white, mostly white – which is going to make cleaning a real pain.
This is the view from Level 22 of Tower 15 (there’s a few towers in the complex). If you look reaaaaly hard, you can see the Apple store :)
Remi’s cargo still hasn’t arrived so we don’t have much in the way of household cleaning materials, namely a vacuum cleaner, mop, broom etc. The poor guy’s been cleaning the floor with a dustpan! So, yesterday he called the ‘Ayi’ which is the traditional name given for “Auntie”. I should point out that Remi is pretty clean … he just doesn’t have OCD like me.
So we went out and bought a mop and cleaning products for the Ayi.
Yesterday, three little ladies turned up (there was supposed to be one). The first two arrived and there was no vacuum cleaner. So I used google translate to ask them where the vacuum cleaner was – the response was ‘yes’. I’m learning that yes is the common response, particularly when they don’t understand a word you’ve said.
I kept asking about the vacuum, even resorted to a game of charades which had them entertained for a bit, but still no response. About 20mins later the third lady arrived, she had an industrial vacuum cleaner – with no head, just the hose. I knew it was going to be interesting….
I showed them where all the cleaning products and mops were and they went on their merry way.
This is how they cleaned the floor.
Apparently, all you need is a window squeegee, water and a stick with a cloth attached to the end. I was horrified! back breaking work :(
Needless to say I won’t be calling the Ayi agan. These ladies do back-breaking work for very little which makes me sad. Plus, I now have a mop!
The weather here is nothing short of freezing and I mean bone crunching cold, the kind where your nostrils freeze together and you get a brain freeze headache. It is currently now -1c however a nice and toasty 26+ degrees inside the apartment. I’m sitting here typing in a t-shirt.
Remi had flowers for me on my arrival, they died that day as it’s so hot in here – he should have bought me tropical ones ;-)
My allergies are in full force so not feeling so hot right now :( Starting to feel the effects of the dry air and pollution. Clarityne is now my best friend.
On my first day here the sky was dark like the end of the world was near, flat out scared me and I can say at that instant, I wouldn’t last here if it was like that everyday. However, the next day these crazy winds came along and cleared up the sky, so now it’s ‘almost’ blue and the sun is shining which is superb.
I’ve caught two taxi’s on my own so far, just by showing them the address of where I needed to go and off we went. I must note they do not speak english, so if I don’t have an address to show them, then I’m not getting a cab.
A few things to note from my experience so far:
- people really like to push, push in, push me .. just push. Really irritates me. Personal space is not considered.
- green traffic lights. Green is just a recommendation to walk, it does not represent safety. Remember this at all times, because they will run you over.
- motorcycles here are electric, so, you can’t hear them approaching and they will run you over too.
- it is true, there is a different smell every 5 – 10m. But, it fades pretty quickly :)
- the door peeps for the apartment complex will only open the door if they aren’t on the phone, lol.
- the coffee here is less than satisfactory. I would make a fortune by opening a small coffee shop – Starbucks is on every corner and it’s packed!
- people smoke in bars, clubs and restaurants. I didn’t realise how gross it was until I came home and smelt my clothes and hair. I’ve quit. 4 days and not one cigarette!
- There are tonnes of foreigners here – French, German, Aussies, Irish, Russian you name it.
- April Gourmet and Jenny Lou’s are my best friends, they sell all foreign products including gluten free pasta, wog sauce, rice cakes and chickpeas- w00t! Although I’m struggling to find lactose free milk. When I ask for it, they say ‘yes’ lol!
- Designer shopping is pretty awesome here, every major brand you can think of. Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel all downstairs from me. Nothing wrong with a little harmless window shopping :)
- I’m not at all bothered bu the amount of people, I mean there are tonnes, but it’s nothing different to any other major capital city … far cry from little Adelaide though! All you christmas shoppers complaining about the queues back home – you ain’t seen nothing !
My first week is going well, nothing has put me off just yet (sorry mum!)
Well that’s it from me for now.
Much love to you!