In my previous posts, I really did not expound my first few experiences here in sunny Florida. Now, let me share a bit of the cultural surprises that a wide-eyed fresh from the boat like me observed.
My husband and his generous friend, Bonnie, fetched us at in the gigantic Orlando international airport. I, along with Amber, was lost and wandered. Basically, I did not know where to redeem our baggage despite the (confusing) direction. We had to ride an airport train (or was it in Hawaii..I forgot), took the elevator, asked a couple of airport attendants (one black lady did not accommodate us just because her shift was over…and I was embarrassed). We ran and ran, hoping to catch the last baggage in the claim area conveyor. At the back of my mind, I was also thinking about my husband on where on earth we would meet. I did not bring any mobile phone with me, so I was contemplating of calling him through a pay phone, which was not within my sight at that time, as soon as I resolved my baggage problem. When I arrived at the claim area, a tall and lean man waved at me from afar, and started to come my way. I blinked, and then noticed that it was my husband. My bad. I did not expect to see him there. We hugged and kissed. Wow. I felt so happy and complete. At long last, he was there, just in front of me.
On the way to our home in Flagler County, I amazed myself with the sights before me. No tall buildings at all, except in the Daytona Beach city area. Hotels are all over the place. Well, Daytona Beach is known for its tourism business, like Spring Break, Daytona 500, Bike Week, Biketoberfest and its world’s famous beaches.
While cruising, I noticed that everything is wide and big (including the people..wink). Roads and lanes are wider. Different vehicle models, which all seem brand new. Girls walking in the Daytona Beach street in their skimpy bikinis. Bearded and tattooed bikers. Tropical pine trees. The ever famous Wal-Mart, Target and Publix super stores.Awesome!
What really strikes me the most is the size of their food servings in restaurants. There was never a time that I could finish a plate in just one seating. To think, I am a voracious eater by Filipino standard. Now, it is fair to understand why most of the Filipinos who come and live here could not refrain from adding more and more pounds. There are also those that are just plain lucky to have the kind of metabolism we all want (congrats). Hopefully, I am not going to follow suit (yup, up to the extent of eating one full meal a day). Besides, my day starts at 12:00noon. I only wake up in the morning to prepare Amber’s breakfast and then, hit the pillow again. Amber still has her breakfast, lunch and dinner served (come on, she is just a child). Well, thanks to my ever loving husband, who’s always there to remind me, “no need to finish what is there in the plate..blah blah blah, anything in moderation”. Back home in the Philippines, I had this mentality that whatever I ordered (in the restaurant), I must finished it right then and there, because I don’t like the sight of food in waste.
Also, almost everything here is INSTANT. Yes, they have instant white rice. You know, the kind of thing that you just boil for 5 minutes and then, it’s ready to be served. It seems like everybody is having a fast life, and that having a home-cooked meal is the last thing on their minds. You can buy processed food, and with the help of the microwave, you are fine for the day. Wow. What a life? I am just lucky; I have a husband who is physically and health-wise conscious. I, on the other hand, have become a calorie counter. When buying food, I check the calorie content before deciding if I should get it or not. The last thing that I want is having a bigger waistline than my husband. Well, I must suck then if that happens.
One more thing, I married a squeaky clean and overly organized American!!!!!Dang, I am pressured not to be sloppy. I always kid him, if he has an OC disorder because, he is like, and everything should be in order. I always embarrass myself whenever he reminds me of putting things in its right place.
That’s it for now. Ciao.