Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Third World

It's 4am here and can't sleep. The smell of raw sewage from the shower drain combines nicely with the odor of Stinky Guy (whoever had this apartment before me).  

The neighborhood is not pretty.  Very dirty and lots of buildings torn down in the area, including right across the street. The complex is a U shape so my view is of other apartments.  The omnipresent dirt/dust seems to come from both pollution and this construction/demolition that is going on everywhere.  Even boiled, the water from the tap tastes too horrid to drink, I hope my bottled water service gets going soon. The apartment and everything in it is filthy by US standards.  Good thing it's warm because the bedding was foul.  I was so glad I brought some sheets and had to borrow a pillow from my colleagues who live next door and have been here for 6 months. The air smells like smoke and is making me cough.  Spring came early so instead of the 40 degree weather I brought clothing for, it was 70 degrees, and my cooler clothing will take 6 weeks to get here.  Woke up wondering how I'm going to survive 11 months of this.

I will have to work on some serious gratitude about how good of a life I have had... Millions of people all over the world live like this their whole lives, but one day here reduced me to tears.  OK, so the jet lag and culture shock may have contributed to it, but still...

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