As you become accustomed to living in a new country there are things you learn that you happily share and then there are things you don’t. You don’t share them because they are embarrassing or revolting or make you look like an idiot, and I suspect the things I am about to share encompass all of these!
So, here goes!
- If you place a lovely wooden table and chairs in an internal courtyard that is open to the elements, but only gets sun at noon, within less than three years your lovely wooden table and chairs will rot into a pile of kindling.
- If you close the lid on the maid’s toilet (because you don’t have a maid) cockroaches will turn it into a brothel and a baby cockroach nursery. Having never lived in the tropics before cockroaches (especially the massive Asian cockroaches!) are a new experience and I didn’t have any idea that disused toilets are their favourite breeding ground. Said toilet now gets flushed every couple of days. Lesson learnt. *shudder*
- Always remove your own toe nail polish in order to check out the health of your nails. In a land of permanently pedicured feet don’t take it for granted that the lady doing your pedicure knows/cares about the health of your nails. I lost half a big toe nail after being cut during a pedicure, which allowed a fungal infection to fester. Revolting. However, if you do have a mild fungal infection on your toe nails Vicks’ Vaporub is terrific! (There’s also a side lesson in here about choosing your nail salon carefully – make sure they sterilise their equipment.)
What revolting or shameful things have you learnt on your expat adventure?