The honeymoon is over.
Sure, I’m still happy – and grateful – to be here in Puerto Rico, but it no longer feels like a vacation. Last week was dedicated to moving in, buying furniture and things for the apartment, getting the water and electricity turned on, putting the car’s title in my name, submitting the damage claim to my travel insurance for the rental car, etc. Luckily, I was able to accomplish all of those things. It all went wrong over the weekend.
Last Thursday, I had to pay $600 at Pep Boys for several new car parts. Saturday night, the car broke down while driving… in the pouring rain. Thank goodness for smartphones, because Glenn was able to look up the number of a tow truck and the guy arrived 10 minutes later, picked us up and the car, and towed it back to Pep Boys. Then, Glenn used his phone to look up the number of a local taxi service, and we took a taxi back to our place that night, as well as the following morning so that we could return to Pep Boys.
$300 and 4 hours later, my car had a new alternator and battery. I had bought the car for $1900 and put in $900 of new parts, meaning that I basically bought the car for $2800. I doubt it’s even worth that much. Let’s not forget that I just had to pay an extra $500 for the rental car because Glenn backed in into a guardrail.
Sunday, before we took the taxi to Pep Boys, our power and internet went out. When we came home, everything was back on, but the refrigerator was no longer cool inside. I called our landlord today and he is working on getting us a new refrigerator. In the meantime, some of our food has gone to waste because it was not kept cool overnight.
In between all of the unpleasantness over the weekend, Glenn and I scrubbed our apartment clean. He did the kitchen and plugged holes in our walls and windows, and I cleaned the bathroom, closet, bedroom, and assembled our desk, hamper, and dresser. The only thing left is getting new furniture for the living room, because the ones that the previous tenant left are old and smell of mildew. Unfortunately, a new sofa and chairs may have to wait until I get my first paycheck – or two.
Speaking of which, I got a job! I will be teaching English to Russian adults online for a company called Englex. I start the first week of September and I can work as many hours as I want. At this juncture, I’ll opt to work as many hours as possible.
After one of the worst weekends I’ve had in a long time, it was wonderful to get the news that Englex wants to hire me. As an added bonus, our friend, Dave, invited us over for dinner tonight and is also going to allow us to do laundry at his house – for free, since laundromats here provide rather poor service. Another item on my wishlist is a portable washer (our washer hookup is a little iffy, and with the portable one we can hook it up to the kitchen sink; and it’s smaller, so we’ll save space, too). Until then, Dave is kind enough to let us do laundry at his place.
Glenn and I actually met Dave in Korea. He and his wife, Sunna, have 5 kids and they all moved here a couple of months before we did. When we met Dave, we had already been planning on coming to Puerto Rico, and as I told him more about the Master’s program, the more he and his wife wanted to do it, too! So, here we all here, in Mayagüez city. It’s great to have some “amigos” here in Puerto Rico!
Coming soon: What life is like in Mayagüez. Check back in a few days!