Life isn’t normal. People aren’t normal.
There’s a dryer setting labeled ‘normal’ but if you’re using a Dominican dryer and want your clothes to be dry before you walk back down the mountain to check them, you might want to turn the heat to high instead.
Point being, everyone has different versions of how things should get done. Hence this post. Life hacks from life in the DR. From the perspective of students, myself, and Scarlett alike.
Life hacks from the girls’ house
1. If you aren’t absolutely pleased with everything, then the day is ruined. You can’t enjoy food. You can’t say the beach looks like a postcard. You definitely can’t pick out little moments where you might actually have a good time. On principle, if one thing is ruined, then everything is.
2. Cake is a valid alternative to breakfast.
3. If someone makes you upset, ignore them for as long as possible but keep thinking about what happened until you’ve worked yourself into enough righteous indignation that you can sharpen those passive-aggressive comments. Or maybe throw a chair.
4. Fun times must be handed to you on a glittering golden platter. Under no account should you go out of your way to try to enjoy something. And you should never enjoy something if you can find an aspect to complain about.
5. If someone reminds you of a rule you’re breaking, they are worse than the devil. They hate fun, love crushing souls, and pretty much just exist to remind you they are in control.
Life hacks from the boys’ house:
1. The hard way is always the best way. For example, walking up a river instead of taking a path to a waterfall. Or climbing over the tallest boulders instead of shorter ones.
2. Beads are a valid alternative to breakfast. They’re like fidget toys you can put in your mouth. And swallow.
3. Mountains are meant to be run down. Not walk. Not stroll. Run.
4. Aluminum foil covering hot pans at dinner is meant to be wadded into balls and hurled at each other.
5. Horseback riding is meant to be horse racing. Obviously.
6. Things belong on the floor as much as they do on shelves. Especially dirty clothes. The floor is a perfect place for those.
Life hacks from CMA:
1. Use dryer #8 in the laundry room for your two-hour weekly slot. It will dry your clothes more often than the other four.
2. Barbed-wire fences are meant to crawl under when visiting rivers or waterfalls. It’s not our fault all the paths lay through other people’s property.
3. Plan alternate to-do lists. For example, when the power goes out and there’s no light in your room you can take a nap instead of study Spanish.
4. Dominicans don’t wear shorts so prepare to be whistled at if you do, but also prepare to be whistled at anyway if you’re white and a woman. Maybe bring a machete, a murderous glare, or an ability to ignore everyone.
5. Hamburger tastes weird. Cook with chicken or fish instead.
6. Plan alternate to-do lists if it’s storming, because the wifi won’t work so you can’t do marketing. Take a nap instead.
7. To stay dry when it rains, just stay inside. It’s gonna be pouring for hours and there’s nothing you need that bad.
8. Wear bug spray if any part of your leg shows. Wear it even if you’re walking across to another house. Actually, wear it even if you’re sitting at your dining room table. Noseeums will come for your blood.
9. Wear sunscreen. The sun knows if you don’t. It will take vengeance.
Life hacks from Scarlett:
1. Stop waiting for things to get normal, idiot. They haven’t been in the past year and they probably never will again (if they ever were). Just start doing things.
2. Savor the little moments, like watching stars out the window of a car. They make life beautiful.
3. If you don’t sleep enough at night, you’ll get sleepy. Meaning you’ll need to take a nap instead of writing your book. So sleep at night.
4. Color-coding your planner is beautiful and all, but if you don’t actually focus on getting the things done, it won’t help you any.
5. Enjoying things is a choice, so shut up about how things aren’t perfect and either have fun or pretend to have fun. Who knows? You might accidentally laugh at something.
6. Read Hope’s blog. Or rather, pay attention from now on because she wants to step it up and do some blog series that are more focused than what she’s done so far. See next entry.
7. Vote on what series you want Hope (and me) to write about next. Choices are writing tips or life lessons. You can give ideas too, but we’ll need a bit of convincing to switch from one of those two.
8. Bring sais or some other weapon with you on any vacation you take. Especially if that vacation is with strangers. You get to make an impression they won’t forget and you’ll probably avoid getting pushed into pools because the men are slightly nervous of you.
What are your life hacks? Let me know today!
(Also, vote on what blog series you want next.)