Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Made it, Ma! Top of the world! (Part 1)

The heavy work needed for our relocation here in Tripoli is finally finished.

Get a nice house. Check.

Shop for furniture and appliances. Check.

Get satellite TV. Check.

Get internet connection. Check.

Retrieve my cargo. A big X on that one.

The house is really great. Just perfect for a young couple like Cay and I. Nothing too fancy, which is just how I like it. It's in what would pass as the suburbs and it's unfurnished, so we'll get a chance to arrange it the way we want.

Judging from the shopping we've been on for the stuff for the house, when it comes to appliances, Korean is king in Libya. The best selling brand here seem to be LG. After that, the choice are Italian, Turkish, and Japanese. For furniture, Libya is a great place to buy Italian stuff. So there's a big probability here that houses are filled with Asian appliances and European furniture.

As for TV programming, the good news is that the channels I'm getting here number in the hundreds, the bad news is that there are less than twenty that broadcast shows in English 24/7. There's TFC here for Filipinos like me, but that's low on my list right now.

The internet here is also intermittent. The connection just comes and goes, based on what, I don't know (hey, that rhymed). It can be hell when one has to communicate urgently with family and friends or needs the internet for work. As I'm typing this, I can't get online.

But the most important part are the people. And so far, the Libyans have left a very good impression on me. They seem to me like very kind people who understands that foreigners like me need all the help they can get in adjusting to life here. Others may see our situation as an opportunity to pull a fast trick on us without us knowing better, or to just be cold to someone who doesn't understand what they're saying, but Libyans seem to look at our situation as an opportunity to help, a chance to do a good deed.

No society is perfect, of course. My biggest beef with the culture here is their utter disregard for road safety. Someone told me that one of, if not the biggest cause of death in the country are traffic accidents. The “right of way” rule here seems to be totally disregarded by motorists. The lanes serve no purpose but decorations on the road as nobody minds them. And a lot of drivers tend to be exhibitionists, anywhere and anytime. They aim to be noticed at all costs, never mind that so many passengers where inches from certain death because of the stunts they pulled. And cars here look like they either were part of a bumper car festival or a demolition derby. Drivers seem to wear their car's damage like medals.

The food here is great. It's not because I'm a big fan of Arabic cuisine. It's because there are so many good Turkish and Italian restaurants here, I being a fan of both types of food. When I stayed in Turkey, I couldn't eat as much Turkish food as I wanted as it was too expensive for a government employee like me. So I had to “console” myself with the international cuisine of the hotels I stayed in. Now, the price of Turkish food here is more within reach. Sadly, the staple fast food chains, McDonald's, Pizza Hut, KFC, have yet to reach Libyan shores. (I sigh, as I munch on Turkish pizza)

The weather here has been hellishly hot. I know it's also hot back at home. But tropical island hot is different from desert hot. Way different. It's just our luck we landed here during summer. For the first few days, I got dizzy spells from the heat. The weather is something I'll just have to get used to as time goes by.

My biggest problem so far is our cargo. We have our own house now and yet we're still basically living out of our suitcases. Almost all our stuff are in the cargo boxes. They've been in Libya almost as long as Cay and I have been here, but the paperwork for them seems to be taking forever. I really need my PlayStation 3 now. Oh, and our clothes, of course.

As for the tourist spots here, we've yet to visit them as we've been to busy with the house, and I at work. Hopefully, we'll be able to play tourist soon enough.

(to be continued)

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