Some of you might remember my post about the curse of the US Postal Services, which since then has been lifted – my grandmother’s letters are being delivered as well as all the packages my sister has been sending us for Xmas. Well, except for one – I wasn’t at home last week when the mailman called so he left a message that we should go and pick up a package at the post office (strangely enough since he usually leaves the packages downstairs if we are not at home).
On Saturday morning we headed out to find the post office in Santurce, as for some reason the package was not held in the small, local post office in Condado. Of course we didn’t find parking on the busy Avenida Ponce de León so O parked illegally and told me to stay put in the car in case the police came… You know how you shouldn’t leave a small baby or a dog in a hot car, well you shouldn’t leave your wife inside either! Even though I had a book to read, I was very bored and of course very hot before O came back after 45 minutes – without the package!
Not surprisingly they hadn’t been able to find the package and then consequently managed to lose the piece of paper with the references when making a photocopy of it – O was not happy!! This was his first encounter with the USPS (not to be confused with UPS), but after all my troubles with the local postal services I just told him to resign to the situation.
My postal troubles are starting to seem like a bad joke. Like last week when I went to our post office and was told that they didn’t have any stamps [for Europe] – for the second time! How can the Post Office run out of stamps? Well, they still had the little machine to print out “stamps” but as I wanted to buy some extra ones for the Xmas cards I hadn’t written yet I was told to come back another day. Actually, the first time it happened to me they had changed the tariffs but the new stamps had not yet been delivered… Then there was the time when I had forgotten my wallet, but I acknowledge that that situation was entirely my own fault!
A friend of mine told me that her local post office tends to be closed every other time she goes there, even though it is supposed to be open – and then they lie about it: What do you mean, we were open the whole day yesterday! Somehow I wonder if Puerto Rico would be better off with their own Postal Service (PRPS?) instead of the US one!?
Our adventures with the Puerto Rican public services continued this morning – O asked me to come with him to the electricity board, so hardly awake I had to throw on some clothes and jump in the car with him. Why did I need to go with him? Well, to guard the car again when parked illegally (and pull the hand brake when O forgot to put the car in P when getting out of it!!) :-) And yes, the reason for visiting the electricity board was that we were risking getting our power cut off this week!!
Our electricity bills are being sent to our landlady who lives in the US, who then should send them back to Puerto Rico – logic, isn’t it!? Unfortunately we never received the bill for October and when we finally got the November bill yesterday – that bill was already 6 days overdue. I paid it immediately of course and then O called the company to inform that the payment had been made – it wasn’t good enough though that I had paid via the bank and in the end O had to pay again today (however, it will be credited to the electricity account)! He also went back to the post office and they found his package – hoorray! Xmas is saved – we will have both electricity and xmas presents from Amazon (thanks again little sister!)!
Oh well, and at least all my waiting in the car meant that I have almost finished reading my second book in Spanish by Laura Esquivel (called Malinche, the first one was Como Agua para chocolate).
Today’s recipe is fitting the season – only one week to Christmas!! Somehow Arroz con leche sounds more exotic than risgryngröt (as Ulla commented on my last post) but I guess that the recipe could also go under the name Riz au lait / Rice porridge! By the way, I tried to teach O to pronunce risgrynsgröt the other day, quite entertaining actually!:
Arroz con leche
2,5 decilitre medium grain white rice (I am of course using the local Arroz Rico Grano Mediano)
5 decilitre water
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
8-9 decilitre milk (i.e just under one litre)
1 cinnamon stick (our friend M from Cyprus gave us a bunch of long cinnamon sticks that we use for decoration in the kitchen)
1½ tablespoon sugar OR
½ can of condensed milk (for a much sweeter porridge)
Mix the rice, water, butter and salt in a big pot. Boil on low heat for approx. 10 minutes. Add the milk, (condensed milk) and cinnamon stick. Low heat for approx. 45 minutes while stirring (I usually stay very close to the stove, stirring while reading a book). Add the sugar if you haven’t used condensed milk.
Serve with cinnamon sprinkled on top / jam / berries.
I still haven’t found the usb-thingie for the camera memory… Looking for it is on my to-do list for today! Fortunately these photos had already been uploaded to the computer.