It is coming up to 2 weeks that I have been here and I am now somewhat familiar with the compound. I am otherwise VERY familiar with our apartment and the poolside gym.
After a brief moment of despair mid last week (in the what on earth am I going to do all day category) the husband has been dutifully suggesting ways that I should keep myself occupied. Specifically, yesterday morning, upon my return from my daily gym session, I returned to our apartment only to be bombarded with emails from the husband for potential online courses I could sign up for. I have conceded it is not such a bad idea, given the minimal amount of cleaning/housewife duties expected of me, and as such have now signed up for the following:
1. Yellow Belt in Spanish (to supplement the classes run in the compound and my Duolingo phone sessions)
2. Positive Thinking with Dr Mark Rogers (a quick class to hopefully counteract the usually negative thoughts flooding my brain)
3. An Introduction to Global Hospitality Management (the next potential career move?)
4. Astronomy (well, why not?)
5. Something to do with criminal psychology (appealing to my legal background and perhaps one of the reasons I studied law in the first place)
6. Russian for beginners (I may need to postpone commencing this one until my Espanol is on stronger ground to avoid any unnecessary confusion!)
Aside from the online study and holiday planning, the other main responsibility I have is managing our food supply. Food in the compound is supplied to the company’s employees in two main forms – a frozen order (order any time) and a fresh food drop which occurs fortnightly. There is also a mini-mart on compound where company staff may go and purchase grocery items. Although the minim-mart is supposedly basic, it provides the choice of over 7 different kinds of rice, magnum ice-creams, beer, wine and snack foods.
Our basic diet from the frozen food order has consisted mainly of fish, fish and more fish. The husband and I love fish! Never again we will be privileged to have access to such a delicious variety of fish as here. Other than fish, our freezer is filled with random frozen vegetables we are stockpiling in case our fresh supply from the fresh food drop runs out….
Last week was my first attendance at the fresh food drop. I had been warned about the competition which occurs within the confined warehouse and instructed that it was a case of “elbows out” – this phrase was mentioned to me on more than one occasion. Last Thursday evening, I walked up the hill towards the warehouse and gathered with the other company employees as we waited for the clock to hit 5.30pm and the warehouse doors to be opened.
Surprisingly, there was no rush for the door as the latch was lifted and the doors rolled up. Nor was there the pushing and shoving one might have expected as staff jostled for particular produce. I am told this is mainly due to the fact that Christmas is looming and staff are starting to head home. I will therefore review the experience in the new year!
The warehouse is otherwise set up as a fresh fruit and vegetable market. I wandered around the stalls filling my calico bags with zucchinis, mushrooms, Greek yoghurt, milk, raspberries, baby spinach, herbs and sweet potato. The husband, who has some experience over myself went for the items which are apparently sought-after (coriander is worth gold in these parts).
The quality of the produce is good and it is difficult to restrain oneself when so much wonderful variety is on offer. The kicker however, is in the storage. Due to the humidity of the air and the constant wind of the air conditioners, we are still figuring out how best to store the food. Even in the fridge, the fresh food does not last long: the raspberries will start to mould within 24 hours, the herbs wilt and the leafy spinach starts to rot inside a week. For the herbs, the tip was to use paper towel to store them inside a container inside the fridge…we are now out of paper towel.
We will persevere – it is a yet another exercise in adaptation plus a little more trial and error!