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Things have changed

Things have changed - Robert Kenyon

This morning I woke up early, took a cold shower which was quite revigorating. I had my coffee on the balcony. While I was caring for my begonias flowers, I saw that inside the house across the street, there were two people painting the walls. I knew that the neighbour was having problems with the mold from long time ago.

When I first arrived here, my neighbour was a young boy, helping in his father's shop. I was impressed with his manners and his language skills. At the age of eight, he was already fluent in three languages: English, French and Spanish. His father was a good man who helped a lot of the immigrants. When he passed away, many of them came to pay their last homage.

In my first year on the island, I heard lots of stories about his father and the so called illegal ways that he built his fortune. I choose to believe none. To me, Mr. Parker had always been a nice man, with a good heart, and a weakness for redheaded women.

Some said that he inherited his fortune, while others accused his of illegal activities such underground casinos. When asked how he came in possession of such an amazing colonial house, he would laugh and say he had a good hand in poker.

After his death, his son wanted to sell it, but no one afforded it. They said that the property had belonged to one of the first woman mayors of the town. Imagine how unusual it must have been to be a woman in charge of a city in a male driven society!

Yesterday I saw the same two workers scrapping the black stains on the walls. In the evening, they have washed them with bleach. This morning they were already putting the first coat of paint. I am not a constructor, nor ever worked in construction, but I was able to recognize that they weren't professionals, and they were doing a sloppy job.

Suddenly I remembered that we used to deal differently with the mold removal Montreal. But, hey! Who am I to say what they have to do, or how to do their job. Plus, they weren't fixing my house, right? Initially I thought of explaining to them why they should have let the wall dry first before applying the paint, but that it would've been a total waste of time. So I saved my time and simply walked away.

Anyway I was not in a mood for hearing comments or jokes on gringos. I assumed that the rain was getting to me, because I wasn't as tolerant as I used to be in my first years here.

One would think that after being over so long in a country, he or she would not be referred to as a foreigner. Unfortunately, some things never change. Even after immersing myself in the local culture and social life, and having a feeling of successfully blended in, there are days when I feel that I have to start over again, that all my efforts were in vain.

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