New Uses for Old Things

Posted on September 20, 2012 by


In the past seven months, I have been confused by many occurrences. Interestingly enough, cultural differences are typically not the main culprit. Sure, I’ve had my share of surprises in terms of what I’m eating, where I’m going, and how I’m getting there, but overall, I’ve kept up. It’s in the comfort of my own home, where I feel the most relaxed and “off guard” that I’m taken aback most often, which has triggered the not-always-silent question, “You do what with that?” Perhaps you’ve encountered a few of these surprises yourself.

Cotton, bought in small bags like stuffing, can be rolled around matches to create Q-tips; it’s how the family cleans their ears.

A propane tank lit with a burning piece of paper taken from the pechi is an acceptable way to start a burner.

Cupboards are not only for storing plates, cups, and utensils; they also store the dinner leftovers, cheese, and extra fruit.

The refrigerator, which is unplugged during the winter, stores the pots and pans as well as small appliances.

The refrigerator can be unplugged during the winter because it’s so cold outside that the windowsill does a perfectly good job of keeping things cool.

An old door handle can be jimmy-rigged into a razor, which also happens to entertain 12-year-old girls as their uncles show it off by cutting their arm hair.

Bundled bird feathers are the best way to sweep out the cracks in the floor and the corners near the wall.

The string used to hold nuts for churchqkhela can also be used as floss.

Tiny scissors are not for cutting paper or thread; they’re for clipping fingernails.

Filling water bottles with hot water and setting them in between the blankets before bed is a legitimate way to keep warm at night in the winter.