Thursday, February 4, 2010
Maine - V - Catching Up...
It's starting to sink in that this is where we live, not just where we're vacationing. It's a lot of little things, but slowly you start realizing that you're doing tasks a resident does, not a visitor.
In the interest of keeping things pretty current on ere, I'm going to crack off a few updates by subject and then try and keep up.
We found a place to live, monthly, in the Northeastern Motel, a goofy strip of white along the road between Portland and North Windham. It's run by a fast talking Greek man who is neither fully trustworthy or competent. He's very nice, but has a vibe about him that makes me think we don't want to leave cash out on our dressers while we're gone. The monthly rentals are in a 3 floor building at the end of the complex and we were lucky enough to get a top floor, facing the woods beyond.
It's a simple place, a single bedroom, bathroom and kitchen/front room. There's no real furniture, just a queen bed in the bedroom, a twin in the front room, a couple of end tables and a small table off of the kitchen. There's also an ancient sink/burner/fridge set that has a busted fridge, used for storing dishes. To make up for that, next to the door there's an oddly thin fridge that also happens to be the loudest fridge ever. When running, it makes a hum that we can hear in the stairwell outside. On the rare times it stops the compressor, the silence in the apartment is palpable.
There is also reportedly an internet connection, though I've had better luck getting online in the middle of a forest than here most of the time. I think it's mostly due to being so far from the single broadcast station, at the opposite end of the complex in the office, but I'm not about to try and explain that to the owner.
It took a while. We had to rent the car for an extra three days as we increasingly desperately looked for a used car to buy. The Honda guy never got back to us, most of the other cars we found in our price range were pieces of rusted metal, scarcely road worthy. Then we found the bumbling and hilariously good natured people at a used car place down the road from our motel. Rex and Katherine, a couple originally from up north also do repairs and state inspections, which means they have to make the car stat-approved and sticker it before they can sell it, which is a huge plus. The inspections here seem pretty decent and it adds some comfort knowing that it's in the clear. A lot of the other places we went to would sell us a car in our price range, but it would be As-Is, with no inspection or implied passage of the inspection.
We chose a cool car, a big blue boat of a station wagon with a rear facing third row and in pretty decent shape. It drove a little rough, the turn radius was extreme on it and I was a bit concerned about Lindsay driving such a large car, but we liked it and it was in our price range. She convinced me that we'd be fine with her driving it. Unfortunately, once Re3x dove into he few repairs it needed, he found a good amount of rusted, crumbling metal under the rocker panels. He could fix it, but it would be a week and he didn't feel very comfortable selling it to us. Instead, he pointed out a few other options, and we decided on a 2000 Ford, a kind of misty blue color in good shape. It actually runs better than the other, it runs really well in fact. I think it will work nicely, especially for less than three grand after fees.
I start work in the next few days, I had to delay it while we got things established. I think that will also help make it feel like we're living here officially. Now if only Lindsay could find a job...
Target, Walmart, Goodwill and the grocery stores have been getting our business a lot lately, as we bought up essentials like towels, rugs, trash cans, little things that places need.
A couple of odd things we've found about the East so far.
And correct me if I'm off on this, I've only been here for a few days -
A lot of take-out here. Buildings we figured would be sit-down turn out to be convenience store style places with a take out grill inside.
Sauces seem thinner.
Everyone uses a lot less seasoning, including salt and pepper. Most of the meals exist on the flavors of the food, not the sauces and spices. Not a bad thing, just a surprise.
Mexican food seems virtually nonexistent. We've found one that isn't a nationwide chain, and it was very much an American take on the food.
Lots of Asian places, so far pretty good ones.
People are pretty polite drivers, stopping for pedestrians and confused drivers from Idaho.