Can You Imagine?

So we just moved into a house. We've been in a BQ which is nothing more than a hotel room, a room with a bathroom; nothing more. Now we have a kitchen, an extra room, and a backyard! Dreamy!

Anyway, when you get a house, you lose your dining hall privileges. No more free food. My husband has pretty much hated eating in the mess hall since he hit the island so as far as money goes, it's not much of an impact in that matter. For the last 6 months we've mostly only eaten lunch at the PDR.

Upon thinking about our move, I started thinking about some of the other island folks around here......

Imagine this: 20 years on a tiny island; you live in a tiny BQ and you eat the same thing in the dining hall, week-after-week. Thursdays are Mexican, Wednesdays are Italian....over, and over...for 20 years!!!!



Unforseen Side Effect

Living on Kwaj has turned me into an impulse buyer. Probably everyone else too or if they haven't turned yet they will if they stick around very long.

I never used to go to the store unless I had something specific in mind that I was looking for; that's all I would go in for and when I found it, I got it and left. I've never liked "shopping". I translate that to wondering around for hours looking at everything and just trying to find something to spend your money on. Not me.

There have been so many times in my life that I have found something I like, but somehow manage to talk myself out of it. I've even been known to pick something up, carry it around and then put it back. Usually because it doesn't seem "practical".

On Kwaj, we get in limited supplies and you really can't count on anything to be there twice. Whatever you do, don't get hooked on a favorite brand or flavor....you may end up in withdrawls. I'm talking about everything from toothpaste to beer.

I watched a guy in the liquor isle one day agonizing for 5 minutes since his favorite brand wasn't there. I bought something to try and went back 2 hours later to get more and it was gone. I've passed on stuff, went home to ask my husband about it and when I got back it was gone. The rule of thumb here is, if you see it and you want it, get it because it won't last.

For some this develops into an even worse problem; hoarding. Personally, I'd rather go without than have to store a bunch of stock in my house; or worse, BQ room.


First Time In Over A Year

This week I drove an actual vehicle for the first time in a year and four months. Up to this point it's been the golf carts we use for work. I have actually had to ride my bike to a client call when no carts were available; with my laptop and tools strapped to the back. (Only on Kwaj)

I rented a pickup truck to move some stuff to the house and it's funny how some things you just don't forget. The truck I got had super touchy brakes though and I screeched the tires the first time I stopped.

Driving here is weird because of all the bicycle and pedestrian traffic. And all of that traffic is pretty aimless, there is no real flow. Everyone just walks or rides where they want and sudden U-turns is not uncommon. You really have to pay attention when you drive around here.


Movin' On Up!

Housing is limited here, I've mentioned that before. Anyone that arrives on island is likely to get put into a BQ or Bachelors Quarters. Basically it's a dorm. The rooms are like hotel rooms, a room with a bathroom, that's it.

If you are married, and get on the waiting list, you can get into a "married BQ" which is two of these rooms, side by side with a door cut in the middle. This is actually quite an improvement over two separate rooms, especially if they are in different buildings. We felt like we were in prime real estate when we got our married BQ.

Today though, I get to go pick up the keys for our house! It's a duplex really but it's two bedroom, a full kitchen, our own washer and dryer and a yard!!!! Can you tell I'm excited? This is huge. The house is part of my recent promotion. My husband was recently promoted and his position comes with a house too but unfortunately, the housing slots for his company were full.

As one of my coworkers said, getting a house here makes you feel like a human again. After just looking at the place, I can see exactly what he means. We no longer get free food at the chow hall but we barely ate there anyway; not really a big loss. I'm sure the cat will enjoy having a new and bigger space to explore as well.


Great Kwaj Swap-meet

Today we hit the Great Kwaj Swap-meet. It's an annual event and kind of a big deal. There was a huge turnout, both buyers and sellers.
We picked up a handful of movies, a lamp, and some folding chairs. Maybe next year, we'll be vendors instead of customers....