Do you have a second? I was wondering if I could take up a little of your time in order for me to get a few things off of my chest. Just a couple of notes and comments on you and your culture and your society. You see, I've officially been living in your country for a little under 6 months now and I thought that it was time that I let my feelings be known about a few of your traditions, habits and behaviors. What's that? You don't like being judged likr that? Don't be silly. Don't think of it as being judged... just think of it as being graded. See? Isn't that better?
1) Parks and Recreations: Love them, love them, looooooove them. From kiddie playgrounds to lifetime memberships at the Miami Zoo. You guys really know what you are doing when it comes to keeping little guys like me entertained. Even the malls have carousels to ride on and giant turtles to climb on and clowns with balloons and face painters and cotton candy. It's dizzying. It's like Daddy always says: Behind every happy smile on a jungle jim... stands an exhausted parent wishing he or she could figure out how to nap with their eyes open. Final grade: A+
2) Roads and Traffic: This one depends on who you talk to. I give it an A or better while Daddy gives it a D while Mommy gives it a B. That's because the traffic issues where we live now are either better or worse when compared to what you are used to. For example; I'm from Cali, Colombia where scooters and motorcycles rule the roadways and they zig and zag in front of you and behind you as you make your way down the highway. Red lights are optional, just like child safety seats and speed limits. It can be very dangerous... but it's a lot better over here. Mommy, on the other hand, is from Puerto Rico where she says the rules or courtesy on the roads are not so much ignored as much as they are mocked and ridiculed. Mommy says that motorists and shoppers on the island treat everyday like if it was Black Friday. It's every man and woman for themselves and good luck, be careful and grab me a mini food processor if you see one. Daddy is from Texas where he says everyone is courteous and safety concious. He says that the rules of the road are observed and respected and every motorist is always on the lookout for their fellow drivers. This is the part where Mommy usually rolls her eyes... but oddly enough she agrees with Daddy on this point. She loves the state of Texas and agrees about the courteous drivers there. Either way, I'm relatively happy with the roadways and traffic flow in Florida. The turnpikes are clean and never clogged. The city roads are clean and pot-hole free and people (for the most part)follow the rules of the road. The traffic can get tiresome, especially when you're strapped into a baby seat like a tiny astronaut but... Overall grade: B+.
3) Food and Dining: Understand this... most of my meals come from home. Mommy is a beast in the kitchen and I've been exposed to her unique Puerto-Mexican cuisine that has me very happy. Whenever Mommy can't cook, we have a large assortment of Latin and American restaurants to choose from. But 95% of the time... It's Che-Mommy. Top five Mommy Meals 5- Asopao (chicken soup/veggies) 4-Carne Guisada (beef stew) 3-Macajon con Carne (mac and cheese with beef) 2-Tostones Rellenos (beef-stuffed plantaine) 1-Pollito Mostasa (mustard chicken). I have no complaints in this department. Breakfast is either fruit and yogurts or eggs and flour tortillas. I love it all. It helps that I now have 11 teeth. Overall grade: A+.
4) Service: Once again... this grade depends on where you come from but I love how quickly you get service in this country. The garbage disposal guy was here the same day we called him... the satelite guy showed up on his own because he was on a service call in the neighborhood and he noticed that our antena needed an upgrade... Mommy's car got boken into and the police showed up in 5 minutes to help her and then the insurance company sent a guy to Mommy's workplace in order to replace the broken window... The list just goes on and on. Oh sure, not everything is perfect. I could do without the sales calls at 9:30 at night and the lines at the doctor's office waiting rooms are a joke but I love living in a place where the little things get done the right way... it gives me hope for the bigger things. Overall grade A.
So there you have it. Not bad for a first-time assesment. I think it's safe to say that this whole living in America thing is well worth the price of adoption. I'll tell you another thing that's great about living over here... the people. So giving and warm. Don't get me wrong... the Colombian people are tops, but I recently received something in the mail that made me feel really good. It was a hand-made blanket from the grandparents of my former roomate back in Colombia. Gloria Grace and I go back all the way to the beginning. I call her G-Money and she calls me EJ. We adopted our parents at the same time and our new Mommies kept in contant communication through emails and telephone giving each other positive thoughts and energy while they were in Colombia.
So now that everybody is home and trying to adapt to their new lives I get a present from G-Money's granparents. Daddy says that the fact that these good people took the time to even consider buying me a present for Christmas, much less, make the effort of making it says everything about them and their character that needs to be said.
I don't know what Daddy is talking about. I never heard anybody say anything or show me any characters or nothing... All I know is that the blanket is super cool and super warm. It has my name on one side and the Colombian flag on the other. So to my Abuelita Jean and Abuelito Howie I say... Thank you and good night.
Ok... Is the weird kid still staring at me?... How about now?
Listen Kid... I don't know who you are or what you want but you're starting to creep me out. I've told you 20 times already... I'm not Gary Coleman so stop asking me to say Whachu talkin bout Willis , okay?
What do you mean you don't know why it's not working, Daddy? I weight 20 pounds... and you weigh 220 pounds.... What don't you get?
Now this is more like it.
So... you like television? Maybe you've heard of me... I'm Gary Coleman.