spanish for "normal".
What is normal anyway?
I'm realizing more and more throughout my time here that there are some things that I've forgotten aren't normal.
Like seeing 60 year old men hanging out at a corner store wearing an Aeropostale graphic tee and bright red pants.
Wait, what? Yeah, that's not normal.
Or is it?
I'm no longer sure. After living in the Dominican Republic for nearly four years, I feel like my barometer of normality is off. I find myself not even thinking twice about things that would turn heads for a regular Chicago suburbanite and good Midwestern girl.
|This horse is being towed by a man on a motorcycle |
on the shoulder of a major highway.
- There are more motorcycles than cars.
- Traffic lights and laws seem to just be suggestions.
- In our little town there are often horses on the streets and motorcycles on the sidewalks.
- The back of a motorcycle can carry anything from a hundred loaves of bread to a washing machine.
There are palm trees everywhere.
And I don't even notice anymore. Yes, this might be normal for some of those southern states, but this girl is used to snow banks and pine trees during the winter months. Now, I see palm trees everywhere I look, and when I think about, that's just strange.
- 60 year old men who wear Aeropostale graphic tees and bright red pants.Yes, this happens. All of the time. And not just red pants either- purple, yellow, green, royal blue… you name it, they wear it.
- Wearing jeans in 95 degree weather (and feeling super chilly when it's 70 degrees out).
- High heels: whenever women get dressed up, high heels are a must. (A little difficult for this girl who has worn high heels 3 times in her life!)
Around the house.
- Turning on the stove or oven by turning on the gas and lighting a match (no electric starters here, folks).
- Flipping a switch to turn on the hot water heater before hopping into the shower.
- No power for the majority of the work day, most of the time. The city power goes out about 3-5 days per week for about 4-7 hours a day.
I think this might be one of the biggest ones. Right now, if I really listen, I can hear the following sounds:
- roosters crowing
- dogs barking
- loud motorcycles on the street
- the neighbors blaring Latin music
- men working: yelling at one another in Spanish and the clunking of machinery
But again, I hardly notice it anymore. If you've ever talked with me on Skype, you know what I mean. My mom is constantly pointing out the squawking chickens, noisy neighborhood kids, the never-ceasing barking of dogs, and I just smile and say, "oh, really? I hadn't noticed."
And there's so, so much more.
What's your normal?
Or even better, where are you seeing a new normal in your life?
(written by Emily)