Caribbean Style

Things happen here in the Caribbean that I am pretty sure wouldn't happen anywhere else.  The Dutch army is here, doing hurricane preparedness drills or something.  Let me tell you what, the Dutch army?  They are FINE.  I was sitting with some friends on the terrace of our dorm when a convoy of soldiers drives by, which should be no big deal (other than the aforementioned attractiveness), except for the fact that a hen and her chicks are in the middle of the road.  The driver of the lead convoy stops the truck, and the passenger, who is dressed in full army fatigues and is probably 6'2",  gets out and waves his hands at the chicks to get them out of the road.  It was like something on a postcard.  It was adorable.

After orientation yesterday they offered to give us a tour of the island.  It sounded pretty cool, so my roommate and I hopped on a bus.  I should have known better.  In fact, I do know better.  I was in a middle seat by a window, so I should have been fine.  Anywhere else in the world I probably would have been fine, but when the road is that windy, steep, and narrow, I was not fine.  Our driver was handling that van like we were in a grand prix race, not like we were on a tour.  I would have stuck my head out of the window like a dog to get more air, except the window was too small and we kept passing really really really close to other cars, and you know, THE CLIFF BESIDE US.  So I just kept telling myself not to toss my cookies and managed to get out at the first stop.  Which would have been great, except I was in Windwardside which is no where near where I live.  I did manage to catch a ride home without throwing up, so all in all, I guess it was a successful tour....

Everything around here is an adventure, or at least that's what I keep trying to tell myself.  I had a little computer mishap the other day and tried to go to the IT department and ask for help.  They told me to come back the next afternoon.  I didn't understand, so I went back that afternoon.  The IT guy was really helpful and said "No, I said tomorrow afternoon."  He then pointed at his foot, which was wrapped in gauze and delicately wedged into a sandal, and said "My foot is injured, I can't help you."  HOW DOES YOUR FOOT BEING INJURED MEAN YOU CAN'T HELP ME WITH YOUR HANDS AND EYES??  Honestly, I didn't really want his feet anywhere near my computer...  So the next day I tried to go see the other IT guy.  I should have known it was no good from the get-go, he has shifty eyes.  I finally manage to track him down and ask if he's the IT guy.  Instead of saying yes or no or anything, he just looks at me for 15 seconds.  Then when I ask him if he can help me he says "No, there is an emergency," and quickly walks into the administrative offices.  I didn't even give up on him until the next day when I couldn't find him again, and asked an office lady if she might know his whereabouts.  She said to try his office, but I already had and the door was shut and had a little sign on it that said he was out.  She said to go back and knock.  This is how things work around here....   I did go back and knock, but he never answered, maybe he's still dealing with that emergency.

Things just run slower here.  All the locals seem to care a little less about all the stuff we students care about, which makes perfect sense, but is still super frustrating.  For example, my roommate and I went to set up our internet service today, which shouldn't be a big deal at all.  It pretty much wasn't, except for the fact that it's going to take 5 days, oh yeah, count 'em, FIVE days for them to TURN IT ON.  Not even to set things up, no, no, the roomie did that.  FIVE DAYS JUST TO TURN IT ON.

Even though I didn't cross any time zones to get here, I am going to have to reset my internal clock to island time so I don't go crazy when everything takes however long it is going to take.


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