The thing that I noticed the most this time, besides the driving which to me it seems like the cars were robots, but I won't go into that, I noticed that as I walked in the mornings or even in the day time as I passed by the houses there were no people. Nobody in the yard, no dogs barking, or loose as far as that goes, or there were no people walking anywhere. It was like the rapture had come and taken the people. After a couple of weeks I noticed that, one, it was hot and no one generally is outside their homes in the heat and two, people were on vacation or work. As it got closer for the time for school to start I saw a little more activity around the neighborhoods.
I didn't think there were as many cars on the road as we had seen before but then realized that I was accustom to seeing so many cars in the small neighborhood where we live in Quito. Also I realized I was use to seeing people everywhere, crossing the street in the middle of the street not at the crosswalk, long lines of people waiting for buses and generally just people everywhere. I am still having a little trouble with cars waiting for me to cross the street. They stop so far back and actually wait until I am all the way across the street. How nice of them!
When school started, I was impressed with the system of how the students were dropped off at their schools, again it seem a little robotic to me. I realized we are a culture of systems and we like them!
One night though Jon and I drove through a neighborhood of a certain culture and there was a huge family outside eating around a big table. I wanted to stop and hang out with them. I realized that if I need a little feel of our non passport culture I would just drive through this area. :)
This next one might be a little gross but I just have to mention it. When I did see some people on the sidewalk out walking they were usually walking their dogs. Again there is another system that is used. When your dog poops you are required to pick it up and put it in a bag. I hope that the term doggy bag which is sometimes a term you hear used in restaurants when you want to take left overs home does not come from this word. You pick up the poop and then what do with it if you are not close to home, you carry it with you? I don't understand then when our team members come down and they are a little concerned that they need to put their used toilet paper in the wastebasket. At least we/they don't have to carry it around with them in a bag! :)
I almost have the personal space concept of where to stand in lines down. Getting there.