Blogging is weird

While I mostly write this for friends and family, this being a public blog, there is of course a potential broader audience that can come in at any time to see what I’ve been talking about.  It’s fun to get likes and followers from other bloggers I’ve never met, but it’s pretty obvious that the vast majority of them are just trying to generate traffic for their own blogs.

I guess we all want to be travel writers.

I don’t mind so much, and it’s been pretty small up to this point. (Not to alienate any of you strangers who actually like my blog, but I’ve not gotten any comments from you guys, so sorry if I don’t believe that you’re really reading it.)

But then I looked at my Spam Folder today, and there are 97 spammed comments mostly in response to my throwaway “Mmm” post from a couple of days ago.  Just as a point of reference, normally I get about 2 spam comments a month.  I noticed a while ago that anything with the tag “travel” got more attention than anything else, but I’m seriously stumped on this one.  Most spam comments are a variation on “I’ve read your work and it is unique and wonderful. I hope to learn more about you, please click on this sketchy link so we can speak of the complexities of human existence.”  I’m not sure if wordpress has recently been inundated, or if I’ve just been here long enough to attract a large amount of spammers.  In any case, here is my favorite spam message from “Mmm.”

The solution is to listen to them. How to will i ever get a girlfriend Actually you don’t. She was a darkness i need to hide your feelings” or” I’d really love it! But it’s not at the intensity you think it will help you understand the reason why things didn’t work out with one another, so it seems like every road leads will i ever get a girlfriend you to a dead end.

I mean this is like AOL chat room spam-poetry bullshit from 1996.  Fortunately, wordpress deals with this stuff well, and I only saw it because I clicked on the Spam folder, but still. Are we really still in Nigerian Prince territory?

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I owe money to the money to the money I owe

Phew, this has been a heck of a month!  I am finally settled into my apartment, which is about a 5 minute walk from the office.  It’s amazing how six giant bags of crap is not nearly enough to make a small apartment livable.  Of course, if I had not filled at least 3 of those bags with clothes, I’d probably be doing a little better on the houseware/decorating front.  Although I’m located very close to several hardware stores and little grocery and sundry shops, it takes quite a lot of energy toting things back and forth in the Belizean sun.  It’s quite a bit different than just making a Target run in the Jetta.  On top of that, I haven’t gotten my last paycheck from my old job, and I have no idea when I’m getting paid here.  Thank goodness for credit cards.

The only thing I really need to make the apartment inviting and livable is a sofa or futon (minus a working ceiling fan and dryer, but I digress).  I’m currently typing from The Most Disgusting Chair in the World (MDCW), which is the only piece of comfortable lounge furniture I have.  I have covered it in a sarong so as not to touch it (actually I have sarongs as curtains, sarongs as table cloths, and sarongs covering my computer and printer at night to keep the dust and salt off of them. Those years in Hawaii really paid off).  The MDCW has an equally disgusting cover, which rains down bits of chair onto the floor if you even attempt to remove it to clean it.  I’m pretty sure the hermit crab was living in said chair before I got here.  Hence, the search for a futon.

Where was I?  Right, so I’m getting settled in.  On Friday I went into Belize City to get my work visa approved, and on the advice of every person I’ve ever talked to here I did a little houseware shopping before catching the water taxi back (oh bath mat, how I love thee).  Saturday I bought an oscillating fan, and it has made me happier than I thought was even possible.  Although I haven’t seen an electric bill yet, I’m fairly positive this fan will save me millions of dollars over constantly running the AC when I’m at home in the evenings and on weekends.  I got it immediately after purchasing a 2 gallon bucket and some groceries, so I walked about a half mile with a bucket in one hand, a giant fan over the other shoulder, and my giant yellow canvass shopping bag down the main street.  I’m sure I was quite the spectacle.

So that’s the boring part. The fun part is that I’m getting to know my neighborhood and meeting some people.  Unfortunately most of the people I know on a first name basis are bartenders, expats, and my immediate neighbors, but I’m working on it.  The stretch of beach I live next to is wide and just covered with local families on the weekends, and eventually I’m hoping to be invited to a Sunday picnic.  Maybe if I just stand around looking lost and hungry someone will invite me over.

But you want to see pictures.  Here are the new digs and the surrounding area, so far. These are all from my phone, so the quality is not the best.

Behold, all of my clothes actually fit in one armoire (plus one bag under the bed and at least 6 tupperwares back in Florida).

The day I got this water delivered was the day I truly felt like a local. It’s the little things.

A batch huevos I made on top of some hand made tortillas from down the street. I literally stood outside the tortillaria and listened to/smelled them making them.

Antonio, my bike.

My courtyard. I don’t have any good pictures of the inside because the color of the walls makes it nearly impossible to photograph. There is also a serious lack of good lighting, especially in my bedroom. If I posted the ones I’ve taken, you’d think I lived in the Bat Cave.

Looking back at my gate, which is the first blue-green one after the monstrosity of a 4 wheeler.

The beach by my house. This is looking 90 degrees to the right of the previous picture.

The dock at Wet Willy’s restaurant and bar, which is at the end of my “street.”  There are stairs, so it’s a nice swimming spot, and at night they turn on the flood lights so you can watch the stingrays swimming in.  They also have a mean chicken burrito.

The back of Wet Willy’s on a Sunday afternoon.

Fairly typical Sunday afternoon scenes, with lots of people out on the docks and at the beach.

Looking towards my house from Wet Willy’s dock.

That’s it for now!  I’m hoping to explore past my immediate neighborhood next weekend, so I should have some new things to talk about.

Mmm

This is by no means a cry for help, I’m really doing well and am enjoying myself. I’ve met nice people, I like my job, and the people I work with.  Then, last night our sweet, slightly homesick 20 year old intern asked me if I was also homesick.  And honestly I’m not (I mean, where is home for crying out loud?). Buuut, while I was explaining that homesickness for me was more about a person, rather than a place, I kind of felt like this:

My hair sort of resembles that clip.