-Carbonated Drinks: I have always hated pop, soda, Coke, whatever you want to call it, because the fizzy bubbles irritate my nose and mouth. However, carbonation is popular here and many times when I eat out, my only option for a drink is something carbonated (or tap water but who wants that?) so I've gotten used to it. However, it wasn't until yesterday that I actually actively sought it out. I've never done that before but I had a craving for Fanta so I bought some. Very strange.
-Chocolate Cereal: I have always hated chocolate in the morning and refused to ever eat cereal that even had a trace of chocolate in it. However, after being served chocolate cereal every morning for the past two months (well minus the time i was traveling), I wouldn't have it any other way- I'm addicted. I actually get excited in the morning for my chocolate flakes, warm milk (they leave the milk out of the fridge for awhile in the mornings) and fruit. That's another thing, the milk. I have NEVER been able to drink milk that wasn't fresh out of the fridge and now it's old hat for me.
-Train: I have gotten so used to taking the train (well here they call it the Metro) to school here that I forgot that I don't do that in the states. I have never attended a college course that I had to take public transportation to. I think it will be strange when I get back to Loyola and have all of my classes basically across the street from me.
-Cell Phone: I have forgotten what it's like to have the leisure of a phone plan. Here, I am
charged by the second and I constantly have to worry about running out of money on my phone and having to "recharge" it with more money. My phone conversations have never been able to last more than a minute and I am not allowed to text cuz it costs a fortune.
-Speaking Spanglish: I have found myself using funny phrases when speaking to my friends in
English that would make sense if translated into Spanish but do not have much meaning in English. For example:
(---"What I say" - spanish translation, what it means)
---"I am of accord with you"- Estoy de acuerdo, I agree
---"I gave account that..."- Me di cuenta que..., I realized...
and then of course, I just throw in random spanish words here and there:
---In febrero, I went to...
---Ooh, I've heard that that's a really nice lugar
-Shower: I have become accustomed to turning on the "calefon" every morning before I shower. The calefon is a box in our back patio with a knob and a little opening attached to the gas pipes. I have to turn the knob, light a match, and put the match in the opening to ignite the gas. This provides me with a hot shower- yay!! but since when has a hot shower not been available to me without all that trouble? it's an adjustment, my friend!
-Gum: not being able to find any good gum anywhere, no matter what the brand has been something i've gotten used to now
-Grocery Stores: you have to tip the bagboy or baggirl because they live off of tips, they don't receive a wage, this is something i would think was weird two months ago
-Dinner: eating dinner at 8:30pm is the norm here and i know of some families that even eat as late as 10pm!! In the U.S. this would never fly with me because I was so used to eating at 5:30 or 6pm. Now, eating at those times would be absurd since I usually eat lunch around 3pm!!
-Greeting: You have to greet everyone with a kiss on the right cheek or you're a rude Jude. Men just shake hands with each other (unless they're really close, in which case they kiss each other's cheeks) but men and women and women and women kiss on the cheek. It doesn't matter your age or whether you just met, you gotta do it. In fact, that's HOW you meet people. You kiss and as you're pulling away you tell them your name and listen for theirs. It's a pretty interesting system that I'm really getting used to now. Watch out! When I get back to the U.S., no cheek will be spared!! :)
I think that's about it. I just found all these things interesting.