Tuesday, October 27, 2009
The variety of decorations for Halloween doesn’t seem to be as extensive as the States, but that does not seem to stop every store window in Ireland from being smothered in ghouls and festive orange and black colors. Monica and I were discussing Halloween and it being predominately an American holiday which some of the world had adopted…mostly the English speaking areas. However, we did kind of steal the idea from Mexico, which has Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) on November 1st.
When I was helping to decorate the Gaf today I used some of the spider webbing Ryan had brought and one of the girls was amazed at the quality and extensiveness of it. I said it had come from America (that land of all that wonderful commercialism and modern inventions!). I’d like to take a moment to say thank you to Craig, John and Mike for always letting me cover their apartment in webbing every Halloween. My skills are much improved thanks to practice.
I spent about 3 hours at the Gaf running out to buy things, decorating and carving pumpkins…yes, I got to carve a pumpkin! I can rest easy that a Halloween will not go by not having carved a pumpkin. I’m just a little sad I didn’t get to help Dad out with one, but I enjoyed my pumpkin last year.
When I woke up this morning after a night of tossing and turning (not sure why) I had a mission – signs. I put up signs in all the hostels advertising a shared room for rent and I put signs for babysitting in the library, a community wall and a few churches. Hopefully something will come from that.
I also stopped in a consignment store before going to the Gaf. I was looking at some sweaters on the 1 Euro rack and there was lady beside me, but I had not looked over at her and we were doing that thing where we are thumbing through the hangers from each side and meeting in the middle. When we both reached the same garment I looked over intending to maintain dominance by getting to add the sweater to my side of the rack, but it just so happened that it was Mrs. Kester! We both looked, smiled and laughed. I stood there talking to her for a few minutes telling her about a business proposition I had received from Teresa earlier in the morning:
When Zach and I went in to pay our late rent (thanks to getting back from London late), I asked if she might have heard anything about someone needing babysitting. She said she hadn’t, but had a business proposition we may be interested in. On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays there is a small scale market that sets up inside the mall and she had recently been asked to take a booth there. The first month’s rent is free, and it is 35 Euro for each month afterward. Problem for her is that she can’t be in two places at once and she has no employees. So, she proposed that we open up a produce stand using her fruit and veg. She gets the money back for the produce plus 25 percent and then we take the other 75 percent to split between ourselves pure profit since there is no overhead. I was excited and skeptical, but what is there to lose except time and I’ve got plenty of that. It is a win win both ways because she gets to see if the booth is worth her while to continue after we leave, and the first month is free, so we have to pay nothing to have the booth! We start this weekend for Halloween sales and hopefully if all goes well that is what we will do for the rest of the time here. Now, I’m sure you’re wondering about Eddie Rockets on Saturday. Well, we work till 9-12 then Erynn takes over the stand till it closes at 6, or we just pack up at 11 and not have it the last part of the day. Shouldn’t be much of a problem. We shall find out this weekend.
I also asked about selling baked goods at the stand or in Teresa’s shop. She was unaware of any regulation preventing me from being able to do so. She said she has jam and other items from people selling things and they have no permit for “clean kitchens” as far as she knows, but again she really didn’t know. I figure it’s worth a try so I can finally have the bakery I’ve always wanted – on a small scale. I’ll put in pumpkin bread the first week and if that goes well I’ll add some more and then maybe more if I’m making a profit!
After leaving the Gaf, I went back to the apartment to get some grocery bags and made the trip out to Tesco and Aldi finally. What I’m about to say next some might call crazy, but when you’re strapped for cash and you’ve got the time it makes sense – to me at least.
I walked into Aldi and priced the basics I was going to need. Then I walked across the street and went to Tesco buying the things I thought were cheaper or could not find at Aldi. Then I walked back over to the Aldi (bookbag loaded down) and purchased the basic cheaper items. I happened to find some allspice (for the pumpkin bread) for 60 cents and I had purchased some at Tesco for 2.10!!! I purchased the allspice at Aldi and went back over to Tesco (doubly loaded down this time) and stood in line to return the allspice at Tesco. There was no driving around in a car, so I wasn’t wasting gas just personal energy and time. I could use a little heavy lifting, and I was happy to have the 1.50 back toward the purchase of a movie ticket for the scheduled Dr. Parnassus outing tomorrow night.
Dinner was a salad with some chicken and onion on top. Average, nothing special. But for dessert, we went over to Marta, Jordi and Roberto’s (Demelsa moved out to live with a family she is child minding for and Roberto moved in). Monica supplied the sticky buns and I brought over some coco for hot chocolate. As usual, Marta could not sit still and allow people to just be in her house. She immediately started cooking a pizza and cutting cheese slices and pita bread. Despite our objections, she had prepared a table of hourderves in no time while we waited for the milk and chocolate to heat. Marta showed Monica and I how she makes her broaches. Monica made the attempt, but the mini details that must be paid to cutting the felt was not something I was interested in trying out at the moment. I will continue to admire from afar.