Tuesday, April 11, 2006

No Habla Espanol—but Oy seems to translate

This Spanish thing is going to be a problem, as it's not most of the worker's second language, but their first. Neither the cable guy or the carpet cleaner guy spoke English. Did some damage at Whole Foods today and I'm still getting used to having actual food outside the fridge, without the fear of little critters getting into it. I'm going to have to unlearn being an ultra-paranoid neat freak because by now it's by rote that I vacuum daily, clean obsessively after every meal and keep everything, including salt, pepper, coffee etc. in the fridge. It's bizarre not having to worry about common NY problems. But there are now others, like the fact that right now the winds are about 20 miles an hour and when I open the patio door my nic nacs are instantly strewn about, not to mention the temporary furniture that is being lifted off the ground. Gee I can't wait for hurricane season.

I am living in an unusual area called Brickell Key, which is a private island off of downtown. It's a really cool place, with lots of residential buildings, a couple of restaurants, a market, bank, florist, dry cleaner etc. You can actually walk to the marketplace, so it's a little bit cosmopolitan, which appeals to expats like me. The Mandarin Oriental is also on the Key and there's a cool bar and some fab restaurants in there as well. One amazing thing about the island, that I simply cannot fully take advantage of because I am sans Wally, and still scared to run for fear of worsening my fucking ITB, is that there is a walking path that spans the perimeter of the island, where there are dogs, joggers and walkers galore. You can see it in one of the above pics from my balcony, which, yes, I am completely obsessed with, you can see both the bay and the river and the port of Miami, hence the cruise ships. Today I got lost on my way home from Ft. Lauderdale and ended up in a lovely area called Crandon Park (I think). Ironically I missed my exit and ended up on a toll road; thankfully I had exactly $1.25 on me for the toll. I wonder what would have happened if I'd cruised up in my "luxury" automobile and professed to have no money? Do the toll booths take AmEx? I'm sure that this happens to people a lot down here....