July 25, 2010

Newly smart, but still working on my herbal wellbeing

It’s been fascinating to study the package labeling on the products we’re buying. African labeling demonstrates far more regard for one’s self esteem than American labeling and I find myself strangely seduced by those little psychological boosts! For example, take clothes washing detergent.

This sunny, floral-decorated package practically compels you to choose it from the grocery shelf. It was only when I got it home, I realized the more profound personality benefits that accrue from my choice.

I’ve never been called a smart sista before but I’m thrilled to know by virtue of my washing powder choice, I’m now among the ranks of countless other fellow smart sistas. I think I’ll go get a cup of coffee and have some time for myself to contemplate that. After all, I have permission from the smart sistahood to do so.

I wonder if the sistahood would be offended if I pointed out the usage rules for it’s. Probably. I think I’ll wait until I’ve bought a few more packages of Sunlight 2 in 1 and my sista credentials are a little less tenuous before I attempt that.

On the other hand, while I may be smart, apparently, I haven’t achieved herbal well being just yet. Here’s the liquid hand wash I bought for the bathroom.

I chose it because it works with the color scheme, but when I got it home, like my choice of washing powder, it too, can confer benefits beyond removing germs from one’s hands.

As I meander through my hand washing with this product, it ostensibly aids in my herbal wellbeing. I’m all for that. After all, I once lived in Santa Fe. I fully understand how important herbal wellbeing can be.

In addition to a self-esteem boost, some products educate as well. Here’s what I learned yesterday from the ketchup bottle.

Hope these little ketchup factoids come in handy for dinner party conversations this weekend.

This is the label from our milk carton. Come Sunday, if you’re bored with the New York Times crossword puzzle, here’s a fun (subjectively speaking) problem to work out over morning coffee: Determine how many calories are contained in a 100 ml serving of this milk. (HINT: kJ = kilojoule) So, there you go – off to Wikipedia with you!

As for me, I’m putting on another load of washing and re-uniting with my sistahood while I let the washer do it’s (AARGH) thing.

Night and Day

You’ve heard it before —“it’s like night and day, it’s so different” —except that we’re really living it. Just before the sun’s up at about 6AM, you start to hear the first of the traffic rush downtown. By 7:30 AM or so, it’s really moving with the streets full of commuters and hooting taxis (that’s honking in US English). There are lots of folks on the sidewalks rushing to their destinations as well.

By noon, things have settled down. Though there is still traffic, it’s much less than the morning push. The sidewalks stay consistently busy.

Everything holds at that level most of the day. The only loud sounds are the trains moving through town less than a block from us. For some reason, the trains are exceptionally loud, as though they are really having to work at generating propulsion.

By 5PM, stores are closing, folks are headed home. The rush picks up again with the sounds of the taxis, and the drone of steady traffic.

The grocery stores are the last to close at about 6:30PM. Restaurants and bars stay open later, but many restaurants have closed for the night by 9PM.

By and large, by 6PM, it has settled down to a fairly quiet level. While most of the traffic has moved out of the city center, some students have arrived by car and taxi for evening classes.

Once classes are over around 9PM, within a scant half hour, the streets are abandoned except for the occasional car moving through a well-lighted nightscape.

Taxis moving through the streets at night rarely hoot. It stays that way all night until the sun comes up again the next morning and the day cycle commences. Coming out of sleep, the first sound I usually recognize is a taxi hooting and the drone of city traffic.

On Saturday, stores are only open until about 2PM so there is traffic that morning, but less than the weekdays.

Since only grocery stores and restaurants are open on Sunday, the town is pretty quiet most all day. It’s easy to spot clotheslines weighed down with a week’s worth of clothes hanging to dry on Sunday afternoons. Because it’s never (ever!) cloudy or too cold to dry clothes, it must be easy to count on Sunday being a good day for laundry.