Monday, September 3, 2012

Random Belize info (that I've never seen in a guide book)

I found out recently, while I was waiting for the bus, that a lot of services are offered in the village that I miss out on by living a mile above the highway.

Here are some things you can get done without ever having to go into town:
  • Get your 5 gallon water bottles filled - People will just leave their empty bottles in front of their house and a guy will come buy and swap them for a full one.
  • Buy lotto numbers. Once a week, a guy goes around to all of the villages and sells tickets.
  • Get your propane tank filled. Same as the water - they just leave it outside and someone comes by to fill it
  • Go shopping. A truck filled with produce will drive around selling fruits and vegetables out of the back, another truck comes around with meats, and another truck filled with clothes, bags, shoes, and accessories will come by every few days. There's also someone who comes around selling cigarettes and gum and small things like that.
  • The ice cream man!! I'm bummed that I miss out on this
  • Get fresh milk. Now, as far as I know, this doesn't happen in Alta Vista, but some villages have a man (or woman) who walk around with either a goat or a cow selling milk. If you need some, you just run out there with your empty container and he sits right there and milks the animal for you.
Things offered on the bus:

There is always someone on the bus selling food. They'll jump on at one stop, ride for a few miles, and then jump off and catch the next bus heading back the other direction - and they'll do it all day.
  • There's a lady who sells fresh cinnamon bread and buns, and when her container is empty the bus driver will stop at her house where her kids are waiting to hand her another load of bread.
  • My buddy Julio, who I met recently, will spend all day riding the bus and selling his mom's homemade donuts or, sometimes, her delicious dukunu.
  • Kids as young as ten will get on and ride for just one stop before they turn around, usually selling some boiled corn on the cob or bags of coconut water.
  • At some speed bumps, people will set up a little umbrella for shade and hang out there selling the same things to motorists that have no choice but to slow down- coconut water, coconut oil, boiled corn, sugar cane, baked goods, etc, and if you're cool with the bus driver or conductor, they'll give you a few seconds to stick your head out the window and buy something.
Words and Phrases
  • Humbugged - if something is broken, it's Humbugged
  • Shucks - as in, "Oh shucks, this thing is humbugged."
  • Bonnet - the hood of a car
  • "Right now" - when a Belizean says he is doing something "right now," it's just flat out untrue. "Right now" can mean anything from 10 minutes from now to sometime next week.
  • "I just completed age 20" - I still haven't totally figured this out. When you ask their age, they'll say "I just completed age__" Soo... if someone says they just completed age 20... does that mean they're 21, or that they just finished celebrating the day they turned 20?
  • Tiger - everyone calls the jaguars "tigers"
  • "To have or to go?" - You get asked this when you order food and I didn't find it hard to figure out, but I see some people get confused. They're just asking if you're eating in or taking it to go - so if you want to sit down and eat, say, "To have."
  • Check? - Saying check in the middle of the sentence is like an American saying, "ya know what I mean?" while they're talking. Ex: "It rained all night and now the road is a mess, check? You can't walk down there now." 
  • Molesting - Means to annoy or bother... So if someone asks if their child is molesting you, they're just asking if the kid is being a pain in the butt
I'm sure there's more, but this is all I can think of off the top of my head... and my battery needs to be charged again.

Burning tar to pave the highway


5 comments:

  1. I like this post. Interesting stuff...

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Rebeks. I was clearly still half asleep when I wrote it - I just went back and fixed some stupid mistakes.

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  2. I absolutely love it all!!, everything. Sounds like the way things were way back when I was growing up, and that wasn't yesterday !! :) Sounds like Mayberry and would expect to see Don Knotts come around the corner along with the Sherriff plus Aunt Bea and Opie!! :)

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  3. is my child molesting you? HAHAHAHAHAHA. I really want to move to belize the more I read you work!! so I have a question! I have five kids (currently a county down in Lancaster pa) so whats the schooling there like? I don't belive you have kids so I know i'm not asking an expert but whats your take anything free is it worth it? can I still homeschool and just be happy
    also is there a market for solar power installation? that's what the old man does?

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  4. you forgot the meaning of ''politics''....in belize.....it actually means, ''corruption''.

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