We bought our TV and DVD player today. Not as if 1080p and all the other crap that goes along with buying a TV isn't confusing enough - let's add in that it must be a multi-region TV that will accept the signals in Africa (I have NO clue how this works but I am told that a regular old $500 TV purchased in the United States will not play in Africa). We also had to buy a multi-region DVD player which costs a heck of a lot more than a regular DVD player, but when in Rome....(or Nigeria).
I was also told today that I use way too many commas in my writing. My dear mother told me my grammatical skills are lacking and my husband told me I write like I talk - with way too many run-on sentences. To them I say this is a blog, not a term paper. GFY.
In addition to these purchases, we also have to buy transformers, converters, adapters, power continuation devices - apparently all in all this is going to cost another $600-$700. What a crock of shit. Oh, hey, you're moving to Africa, and if you want any of your electronic devices to work while you're there, you have to buy these transformers - on your own dime. Not that the State Dept. doesn't pay for quite a bit of stuff to make our lives easier in Abuja, but as far as I'm concerned, three transformers for a whole house of electronic devices is beyond insufficient. I mean just off the top of my head how many things do we own that need to be plugged in: coffee maker, toaster, vacuum, blow-dryer, toothbrush charger, phone chargers (2), computer, TV, DVD player, water boiler, alarm clock - and that's not all-inclusive. So the three transformers provided by the State Dept are really going to go far. So we have to buy more of those and we have to buy this power continuation device for all of the times when our power goes out and switches to our generator (which is thankfully provided but you'd think that since its so common for this to happen and it apparently ruins your electronics, they would provide this power continuation thingy) and we have to buy enough of these things to cover all of our electronic things and all of these things and things to keep our things nice are starting to cost a lot of freaking money! I just really think that since they're sending us to live in Africa for two years it would be nice to equip us with everything we need to live there. Thank God we saved money before we started this job, because if we hadn't, I really don't think a pay advance would be enough to cover all these little incidental expenses that are adding up to be quite a lot of money. I mean its not like we already have to buy two years worth of consumables (I worked on our Excel spreadsheet today and it has 181 items. Seriously every non-perishable (but still natural/non-processed) food item you can think of, every cleaning supply and every bit of toiletries you might need for two years - that's going to cost probably three or four grand - why not add another $600 or $700 of electronic conversion devices on top of it. We're made of money.
Anyway, Lizzie is coming in two days and I can't wait to see her! Also, she's never been to DC before so we have a ton of really cool things scheduled for her, including a tour of the Capitol (which I've never been inside either), the Archives, the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian, Arlington National Cemetery and much more. We also have planned a small Thanksgiving dinner for the three of us. Okay its not really small because not one of us is willing to compromise on our favorite Thanksgiving food, so we are probably going to be eating leftovers until we leave for Abuja since only three of us will be eating turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, corn casserole, green bean casserole, cranberries, pumpkin pie, and cranberry sorbet. I wish I was exaggerating...
On a funny note, on Saturday while we were in etiquette class Joey volunteered to be the dining guinea pig. He sat down at the imaginary dinner and our teacher told him to pretend to eat steak "American style." With a quizzical look (do you know the difference between American and Continental styles of eating), he picked up the fork and knife and attempted to eat his imaginary steak. Our teacher was horrified.
"No!" She exclaimed.
I thought that at this point in the class it would be hilarious to interject. "Welcome to my life," I sarcastically said. This elicited many laughs from the classroom.
Today, one of Joey's friends who also happened to be in our etiquette class told him that when I remarked on Joey's American style eating skills, another woman in the class leaned over to her and asked, "Do you think they have a good marriage?" Hahahaha! Get a sense of humor. Either that or if you can't joke about your spouse take a look at your own marriage.