Sunday, January 22, 2012

Adjusting to life in Penang

We have been here in Penang a little over two weeks, and there are a few things I am still trying to get use to so I thought I would share some of them.

1) All the switches - There are probably over 40 switches in our 3 bedroom apartment and there is still one switch we aren't sure what it does. There are switches for everything including the water heaters for the kitchen and each of the bathrooms.  It takes the water about 30 minutes to heat up so I have gotten wise and now turn the water heater on at night in my bathroom so I don't have to get up 30 minutes early or take a cold shower.  The kids are learning to turn theirs on early, too.
2) The driving - they drive on the wrong side of the road and the steering wheel is on the wrong side of the car.  However, I have started getting use to it and I have learned to just drive in the middle of the lanes because you never know when your lane will end so it is just best to stay in the middle.  I'm not sure if I will ever get use to the motorcycles weaving in and out of traffic; especially the ones with the little babies on them!
3) The weather - it is tropical so I have decided there isn't much point in drying my hair and makeup isn't really worth it.  We have gotten use to going to the beach and the pool in January! 
4) The white tile floors - oh, they do look pretty when they are clean, but put some kids in the apartment and that won't last long.  I think we have decided to hire a housekeeper to come in once a week because there is no way to keep up with cleaning the floors since it is all tile or wood. 
5) The two burner induction stove - I realized how spoiled I was with the five burner gas stove.  It is very different to cook on and I definitely have to think about what I am cooking since I don't have all the burners.
6) Shopping - the one stop shopping at HEB once a week doesn't happen over here; it now takes a trip to Cold Storage (like a small Whole Foods), Tesco (similar to WalMart), and the wet market to get what I need for just a few days because the refrigerator and freezer are much smaller so I can't buy up for a week.  Then trying to get some additional gluten free items will also involve trips to one or more organic markets around the island. 
7) Wet Markets - yes, they are great for the fresh fruits and vegetables, but I am still adjusting to the whole chickens and all the seafood with the heads still on. 
8) Knowing my address, phone number and passport number- I have my address and cell number in Texas memorized and even my drivers license number, but I am really struggling with learning all these.  I have just put a cheat sheet in my purse.  Thank goodness my email address didn't change:) 

I am sure there are  other things I am adjusting to, but these are a few that have really stuck out to me.  I have been reminded how blessed I am with all I have back in Texas.  However, I know our move here has been and will continue to be an amazing blessing.  It might take some time to get use to some things, but I can trust that God has us here for a reason and He will provide us with what we need when we need it. 

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