Thanks to everybody who made the last months in Oman so special, and who repeatedly went out of your way to help out, keep me drunk, host and attend yard sales (and give a good home to my favorite shirt! you know who you are...) , pack, baby sit, and listen to my endless complaining. We should all be so lucky as to have friends like you.
We've been in Houston about 23 hours now, and I thought I would jot down some early impressions / experiences before I forget them in a Fog of Jet lag Induced Stupidity.
People: Everybody, Republican, Democrat, Rich, Poor, Old, Young, is really nice here.
The Accommodation: We are staying in the cutest little 2 bedroom bungalow in West University. Our totally awesome landlord kitted out the kid's room like a princess wonderland complete with stuffed animals, toys and a little magnetic calendar with kid-centric activities. She also left a gorgeous bouquet of flowers on the kitchen table, arranged a horse for me to exercise / borrow anytime, and stocked the fridge with beer. I LOVE our Landlord.
Insects: So far there are a lot of freaky-ass Jumping spiders, Spiders that fall out of trees and down the front of your shirt, super loud Cicadas and Extremely Aggressive Fire Ants. I got to know the fire ants this afternoon at the local playground, and I can report that they are clearly angry about something. Ouch. Which leads me to......
The "Frogs": I shall relay verbatim to you the conversation I just had with Stone on our back patio.
Stone: Hey! I think those things in the leaves over there are frogs!!!
Me: Seriously??? Frogs????? They have frogs here? ????
Stone: Yeah, listen to all the noise they are making jumping around in the leaves.
Me: OMG, that is so awesome. Quick, Catch some of them! I'll go get a thingie to put them in!!
I go into the kitchen and meticulously prepare a terrarium to house our new frog collection
Me: OK! I'm all set! How many have you caught?
Stone: None yet....
Me: Come on!!! I want some frogs!!!!! The kid will think they are awesome!
Stone: Um... Actually, I think they are not frogs... they appear to be giant roaches.
At this point, a roach as big as a loaf of bread with legs scurries across the deck
Stone: You look like I just told you your grandmother died....
Me: That is the fastest I have ever gone from totally stoked to totally bummed.... Ever. Go get the bug spray, please?
In addition, we did some serious banking stuff today, which was, for the record, a total pleasure. Major, Major Banking shit and we were in and out in under an hour. I'm going to upload a video of the drive through banking, because, People Of Oman, It will blow your mind.
We also went to the most awesome grocery store in the whole world today. It deserves a post all its own, and maybe a video. It was Vegetable Heaven and Skanky Cheese Heaven and free sample heaven, and all the staff are super helpful and super friendly and the kid gets a free balloon and coloring book on arrival. Seriously.
I made my first new friend today at the playground. Her name is Cindy (How American!!!) she's got a kid the same age as mine, she appears totally sane and normal, she is funny, and she voted for Barack Obama and watches the Daily Show. So there is indeed hope of finding a few like minded people to hang out with, even in Texas!
|My Name is Bob, I am a Texas Frog.|
Frog Update: There are indeed frogs here!!! We just caught one, and we are going to name him Bob. HOLY SHIT!!! FROGS!!! We'll keep him until tomorrow, so the kid can check him out, and then let him go in the back yard, where he will hopefully eat lots of extremely large roaches.
More from here soon!