A year on the island

July 4th marked one year living on the island.

Here are 10 things I have learned over the course of the year, living in the Azores:

1) Spanish and Portuguese are NOT the same, although knowing some Spanish helps.

2) The American lifestyle may be too fast paced, but island life can sometimes move too slow.

3) Other than cars and motorcycles, appropriate forms of tranportation include donkeys, horses, tractor pulled carts, and ATVs.  It is also OK to parallel park your ATV on a busy street in between 2 cars.

4) Yielding to cows is prefered, how ever not required.  If you can safely pass, go for it.  Oh, and do NOT complain about cow poop on your car.

5) Street bullfighting is a sport, and should be taken very seriously.  Just because you are at least 6 feet off the street, do not assume you are safe.  Bulls CAN and WILL jump when they want.

6) If you are at a Portuguese restaurant and are ordering fish or shrimp, make sure to ask if that is coming with it's head still on or will that be removed.

7) The Magic Jack, Skype and Vonage can be life savers.

8) Do your shopping during the week.  Do not expect anything to be open on a Sunday.

9) Just because there may not be a natural beach, a beach can still exist.  The ocean can be turned into a swimming pool.  Oh, and beware of jelly fish.

and

10) Never complain about living on a tiny island.  Life could be much worse.

Last year on July 4th we were flying from Baltimore to the Azores.  We arrived just in time for the fire works, but with some minor hold ups, we just missed them.  This year Ryan's squadron booster club had a food booth, so I helped with the selling of hot dogs and ice cream.  We had an early shift so we were able to spend the whole day at the festivities on base.  Here are some of my pictures from the very awesome and well done fireworks show. 
QUESTION:  What is one new thing you have learned over the past year?

11 comments:

Beth said...

Congratulations on one year! Those are some great fireworks pictures!

I've learned to never say never...we've done so many things in the last year that I never would have expected...and I'm so happy we have!

biz319 said...

Your firework pictures turned out really cool!

This year I've learned that you have to let your kids go and make their own mistakes - my step-son moved 19 hours away with a girl he's only known for four months. You never know! :D

sophia said...

I learned that wherever I am, whatever I do, I meet beautiful, wonderful people. :-)

Hey Melinda, I'm curious about the difference between Spanish and Portuguese...would you mind detailing it sometime? It sounds interesting!

Kristen (swanky dietitian) said...

It is crazy how cultures can be so different. I felt similar in Italy. I loved the slow paced but I missed a bit of the fast paced vibe of the states. And I also missed the fact that stores weren't always opened.

Gina; The Candid RD said...

Great post. Haha, don't be surprised if there is cow poop on your car. I love that. And passing them is ok? Thank goodness! I bet they are slower than molasses.
This year has been crazy for Nick and I too. We both got new jobs AND bought our first home!

Simply Life said...

I love that list! Hmmm...what have I learned??? To always keep an open mind to new opportunities! :)

Lori said...

I just love lists like this. It reminds me of our time abroad. We are going on 8 months back in the US and I can hardly believe it. Your photos of the fireworks are beautiful! The one thing I've learned is that I need a lot less than I have. :)

Emily said...

Wow a year on the island! I laughed about the cow poop observation. And we think bird poop is bad?!

Mari said...

Wow 1 year already?!?! Happy anniversary lol

I learned this year, that life can change at a drop of a hat and you can either try to resist the change or go with it =)...

eatingRD said...

I can't believe it's already been a year! craziness how cultures can be so different. In the past year we've bought a house and I've learned that I want to be a kid again and not worry about things as much! ha :)

Special K said...

I love these tips because for me, I am still getting my feet under me where I feel, I LIVE in EUROPE...not just AM here. The Sunday thing still resonates with me, but it does make a more relaxing refueling day...
Want to go to Egypt with me? Around Thanksgiving?

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