chip wiegand

Welcome to my blog and website, I hope you find your visit interesting.

It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

-- Mark Twain

Coffee and salt don't mix

Friday May 8, 2015

As mentioned in the title - coffee and salt don't mix. hehehehe. So, here's what happened - I was getting very low on sugar, so I went to the tienda to buy some. I'm at the store and I walk through the aisle, see the bags of white stuff, assume it's sugar, grab it and buy it. I never bothered to check the print on the package. After I got home I then poured the stuff into the sugar canister, which had some sugar left in it. My first thought was "hmm, it's a slightly different color, but that's probably ok, it's a different brand", and I thought nothing else about it. The next day with breakfast I broke up some cinamon pieces into tiny bits, mix them into the coffee grounds, brew some coffee, and put in the sugar. Again, my first thought was, "hmm, it doesn't seem to be mixing in quite as normal, it's seems a bit foamy. Maybe I didn't get all the soap rinsed out of the cup when I washed it yesterday". I finish fixing my breakfast, pancakes, and take a drink of my coffee, and Wow! hehehehehehe, it almost made me throw up! It was unbelievably awful! Oh my word! Whatever you do, do not put 2 teaspoons, or so, of salt in your coffee! It will be a taste you will never forget!

What else? Oh, once again, this has happened a couple of times - I am making patacones (fried plantains). I get the pieces in the oil to deep fry and then go start doing something else, like writing this blog. I forgot about the patacones. When I remembered and went into the kitchen to check them, they are black on the one side that is in the oil. Arrgh! So I roll them over onto the uncooked side and wait a couple minutes so they get just a bit cooked on that side. So my patacones are mostly black. That has happened only twice now. Thankfully. What's worse was that I used the platana amurillo, not platana verde, as my platana verdes had turned to platana amurillos in the last day or so. Which means they are softer and don't require nearly as much cooking time. Well, the taste isn't so bad. The yellow plantains are sweeter than the green, so the patacones are sweeter, which helps counter the blackness. Well, it helps a bit. hehehe.

Cooking is not one of my strong points, that's for sure.

I missed out on an apportunity to buy a bicycle for a really good price this past week. I found one in very good condition and at a very good price, but then one of my students told me she would be taking this whole month off from lessons. That means I am short about two hundred thousand pesos, about a hundred dollars. So, no bike, and I have be very stingy on food and bus rides, which means a lot of walking. At least it is only for this month, she said she would be back on schedule in June.

Last week on friday morning, at 6:30, it rained. Yay! Our first rain this year, and fist since some time in December, if not earlier, I don't remember. But it also was our last rain, as it hasn't rained again since. Now the winds are dying away, and the normal temps are feeling hotter. The temperature never varies more than a few degrees all year round, always around 90 to 94 degrees Fehrenheit, whether it's July or January, no difference. At least with the Caribe winds it feels cooler.

I did finally get a new phone, well, not new, but newer than the antique Blackberry I had. I got a much newer Blackberry. I like Blackberrys because of the keyboard. I find it much easier for texting with a real keyboard, rather than a touch-screen. And I like the size of the phone better. Modern cell phones are getting too big, in a few years they'll be like they were in the '90's.

I still don't have my own internet access, but that is something I can't do anything about at this time, since I am not legal and can't sign any kind of contract. So I only have internet access when my neighbors (my landlady) has her modem turned on. Seems that when the computer is not being used, it is turned off, and when it is turned off the modem is also turned off. So, for much of the day I have no access, when the kids are home from school, then I can get online, until they turn it off at night, usually between 10 and 11pm. It sucks, but so it goes. There are three ways for me to get legal - get married, get sponsored by a company for a work visa, or get an extranjero cedula (which I will check into soon, I have to be here for 2 years before I can get one, supposedly). A cedula is the national ID card, and an extranjero cedula is a national ID for a foreigner who has been living and working in the country for at least two years. As to how the process works to get one, it seems that depends on the agency used, the notaria, as each seems to have its own way of handling it. I have read a few accounts of people getting the extranjero cedula, and they have all been different.

That's about it for now. Please consider helping me if you can, click on the Western Union logo for information, or donate via the CrowdRise link. If you already have, thank you, again. Much appreciated! It is for a good cause. I would like to be able to provide books to my students as most cannot afford to buy them, they are expensive. So, some students make photocopies of my books, but that is, obviously, against copyright laws, but is normal and acceptable here in Colombia. To photocopy an entire book is only around 20mil pesos (about $10 US), but to buy the same book new is around 100mil pesos (100,000). Right now of all my students only 1 (one) has actually purchased their own copy from the book store. All the others make photocopies of mine, or use no book at all.

That's about all for now, till next time, take care!


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