“Just stop by,” the expats would say. So I did just that, something rarely done in Orange County especially when you hardly knew the person.
We had a new life in Belize and I needed help. Advice on schools, grocery shopping, what local Belizeans were like, where I could get a supply of fresh milk.
Carol, a French Canadian who lived in Corozal, was the only expat I knew with kids. Her front door stood wide open maximizing on sea breezes from the bay of Chetumal. Air-conditioning was non-existent in most houses. Carol invited me in for some refreshing watermelon juice. Her house was the size of a large bus and squished on the side sat a trailer they’d brought with them from Quebec. Carol told me they preferred the trailer to the house, “because it’s air-tight. Mosquitoes can’t get in, so we sleep in the trailer,” she said. I found this very strange that they’d pay for a house, yet sleep in the trailer.
Carol needed to talk just as much as I did. We sat on a couple of Mennonite chairs in her shower-size kitchen when a truck drove by and Carol knew, from the sound of the engine, this was the “Crystal” water guy. He walked straight into her kitchen and dropped off a 5 gallon plastic container of water. She searched for a coin in her soap dish container, to pay him.
Carol answered all of my questions regarding shopping and then handed me a gringo expat list of names and phone numbers for me to keep. I was amazed at how everyone helped one another here. I complained about the bug bites and Carol lifted her trim body from the kitchen chair and tiptoed to her bathroom, returning with a tin of cream she’d made herself. “What’s it made from?” I asked.
“I invented it,” she said. “I mix beeswax, olive oil and herbs. “Here,” she said, handing me the tin. “Try it. Tell me if it works.” I thanked her and spread a dollop on some swollen mounds on my legs. Carol stared, waiting to see my reaction. I smiled and told her it was a miracle cream. She wanted to market it locally, and called it her “very secret recipe.”
A guy on a scooter stopped in front of Carol’s house and honked. “It’s the mailman,” she said. She greeted him and returned holding only one letter, no junk mail. I thought how wonderful to live in a country where trees aren’t cut down and turned into junk mail. Back in California, I never bothered to look at junk mail. I hated the glossy photos of garages that looked better than many living rooms around the world. I felt embarrassed that people would need a granite-looking garage floor to park their perfectly shiny SUV or Mercedes. Who cared what the garage floor looked like, certainly not the car. I used to throw junk mail into recycling, without even looking at it.
I’d like to know where you live now and whether you can just stop by to visit? Do you have to call first, or make an appointment to visit with a friend or neighbor?
Any comments on junk mail, and whether you read it, need it, etc?
Any questions or comments you have, I shall be happy to answer on BELIZE BUZZ Wednesday, where I link your question to your blog, and answer it.
Thanks, and have a great week blogging. Enjoy life.