New Norms

Parade I think you would surprise yourself, were you to live abroad, how quickly things you thought were weird, or never thought about before, become normal. My claim: human’s adaptability is what makes us such an overpowering (or successful) species.

Things that have become second nature to me since coming to Paraguay:

  • Throwing toilet paper in a trashcan: Paraguayan sewers (or maybe it’s the pipes and toilets themselves) can’t handle toilet paper. All bathrooms have a trashcan for paper waste.
  • Unplugging everything (including my fridge) before I leave for more than a day or during storms: It’s not uncommon for the power to go out or flicker. And, when the power comes back it can surge and fry whatever is plugged in.
  • Boiling water before putting it on the stove: Gas isn’t free and my electric water heater is very efficient. Oh, did I mention I have something like a 5-gallon gas tank that I will personally need to carry somewhere to refill.
  • Sunny, windy, warm days make me think of laundry: They are perfect conditions for clothes hung to dry to dry before they start to smell moldy. Yep, in Paraguay there are only two kinds of days: those good for laundry and those ill suited for washing.