I have discovered bleach.

I saw an ad on Brazilian TV where you can buy this liquid stuff and dip your off-white shirts in, and they will come out pure white.  Since I have a mess of white shirts that have lost their innocence, I decided to get some.  I haven’t tried them on my shirts yet, but one weekend I was trying to convince myself to clean the apartment and decided to pour a little of the liquid in my bathroom sink, to see if it would remove the weird stuff growing in it.  It was 50 shades of brown.  Not pretty at all, but was pleasantly surprised to see the stuff disappear.  So I took a paper towel and moved it around until it was all gone, then rinsed the sink out.  Clean as a whistle.  Then I took the liquid to the kitchen sinks which suffered the same malady, except it was black/gray, and lo and behold, it made the disease vanish. This made me realize the products bought overseas are unlike the American stuff.  No FDA that keeps good things from working for us.

Likewise, my sinks had a problem draining.  I believe it is because I tend to treat them like there is a garbage disposal in them.  There is not, so unsurprisingly, the drains do not work well.

So, I went to the grocery store down the street and around the corner and bought what I pretty sure was drain cleaner.  I poured some of the weird flat crystals down the drain and had to use the end of a wooden spoon to force them down and left for work.  When I returned, lo and behold, the drains drained properly!

So I also used it on the bathroom drain.  It worked.  For those of you who used drain cleaner in the States, you will know they seldom work.  So, I assume the drain cleaner had bleach in it.

There is a spot on my balcony that is open year-round.  So as a result, with the high humidity here, mold and/or mildew started growing on the floor at that spot.   It got to the point that when I walked in that area, my shoes became sticky.  So, I threw some bleach down on it and took a new mop I had, and swished it around.  The mildew disappeared, but so did the color on the mop.  It was originally yellow, but now it is white.  Pretty cool, huh?

I work with many good people.  The head electrician here is a little guy who cannot stand still.  I get to work with him occasionally, and each time I fall in love with the little guy more and more.  His name is Francisco, but his co-workers call him Chequeno, which is supposed to mean, Little Guy.  He is diminutive, but with a lot of energy.  When he talks to me, he cannot stand still.  He is either adjusting his pants or twitching his shoulders.  When we meet, we always address each other as “My Friend” and we shake hands.  His pinky sticks off in a strange direction, so I have to be careful not to hurt him.

Wherever he sees me working on something, he will stop by to help.  He speaks fairly good English and loves to talk.  Like my friend Hiwot from Ethiopia, she loves to talk and like Hiwot, I only catch every third word or so, but can usually figure out what he is saying.

I told him my mother is 900 years old and he believed it, and allowed me to take his picture for her.  Unfortunately, I am still trying to get it off my phone.

The State Department loves parties, so every time you turn around there is a party going on.  Every year, the embassies and consulates have parties to welcome the new people and say good-bye to those leaving.  So, this year, it was at the CG’s house.  The CG is the Consulate General and takes the place of the Ambassador who does his thing at the embassies.

As with most of these things, it incorporates the local traditions which in this case was samba dancing.  This is a high energy dance that makes my joints hurt watching.  About a half-dozen men came out of the woodwork with loud drums, followed by two semi-attractive women in small dancing outfits, jiggling with the drums.

Now this was interesting to watch, until the women jiggled into the crowd and started pulling people in to dance with them.  The only time I danced sober, it was with my daughter when she was a little one with her feet dangling away.  I had no intention of joining this fiasco, so I had to come up with a quick plan to keep from running out the door in a panic.

I happen to see a young lady standing nearby holding a baby about 6 months old, so I went over to her and told her I would be glad to hold her little one so she could dance with the now crazy pack of jigglers, and she happily obliged.  It was perfect. I could watch the craziness while getting to hold a baby.  His little head was against my chest and my hand was covering his ear because of the loud drums, and no one came to drag me into the dancing inferno.  Afterwards when I had to return the little guy to his mother, she was surprised he had fallen asleep against my chest.

Life is good.    So, kick butt.