Of taxis, razor wire, and doves


So, I started this on the 10th  by making a bulleted list of things I wanted to write about. It might be too much for one post, but I better get started!

Taxis are incredibly prevalent here.  They are small cars, which is not the norm here and none of them have meters. They just kind of cruise areas where they often get fares, and beep at likely prospects. The beep is a question and if you look up then they will pull over.

The other evening, Kelly, Gabe, and I headed for Starbucks (almost as common here as back home, and they have Caribou as well) for coffee to brew (believe it or not, it is as cheap as Folgers here). On the way we passed by what I believe was an oil drilling operation. It was surrounded by at least 3 high fences topped with razor wire and there were coiled fences of razor wire running in between, and at least one of the fences was electrified. The traffic was at a snail’s pace (really, I could have strolled faster) and we came to a round about that had police stopping every car to check papers (they didn’t even want to look at Gabe’s, they just waved him on and said, “Go!”). Once we went through the circle they had two vehicles pulled over with several men in handcuffs standing outside of them. Excitement.

Each of the buildings that teachers for my school live in has a guard and the equivalent of a concierge. These guys will do anything for you, and take great care of us. A few of the things they have done for me are repair my electrical outlets, change light bulbs, and tote a box of bottled water to my door. When there is a problem, they repeatedly say, “It’s okay, madam,” even if it is a dire problem.

Speaking of bottled water, I do buy it to drink, but I brush my teeth with regular tap water. We have a filter (who knows when it was last changed) in the kitchen and I use that water to brew coffee or add to a smoothie. So far, so good. I am surprised at how readily water is available and even used to water … well, everything that grows. I guess the majority of their water is desalinated water from the Gulf.

I have some resident doves that sit on my window sill at the apartment as well as outside my classroom at school. They look much the same as doves back home, but have a more rosy hue to them. The other difference is their coo. To me, it sounds like soft chuckling. I often wake to it and then hear it again in the evening.

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I’ll try to get a better picture soon.