I love people-watching. Today, I am in St. James waiting for the pardon-my-french car to have things done to it's pardon-my-french transmission. It appears we can eke out another few months of use from it, before parking it up outside the pardon-my-french dealership and writing "mérde" upon it in large letters. (Oh, a new transmission? Costs more than an entire pardon-my-french car)
So I am watching Trinis. A large man with dreadlocks, and his tiny daughter all dressed in pink with beribbonned canerows. He is carrying her lunckkit which is as pink and girly as the rest of her, holding it between two fingers like a precious, fragile thing. Here is an old mad lady, who wears a different extravagant outfit every day. Here are some businesswomen, looking classy in fine style and manicures. Matching shoes and handbags. There goes an old Chinee, his hair combed neatly over from one side to the other over the bald. He's walking hunched over in shorts and crisp shirt, looking at the pavement. Here is a very fat man, drinking a big red and clutching a small white plastic bag. Probably cheese pies, because yuh know if it was doubles he would have eaten it there! Nobody buys "two cheese pies, fuh here, boss". Why not? Isn't that weird? Here comes one of the mechanics, with a box of pelau and a coke. He looks "dougla", and wears his hair long in canerows too, like our little girl in pink. But without the pink ribbons. There's a man, RUNNING! Aha, his pardner is driving a truck, and has stopped to wait for him. Traffic is backing up, but nobody minds much. Two policemen, looking very dapper and straight, are walking along with purpose. I guess their purpose is to not notice the cause of the traffic jam. '"I'm looking DOWN", said Piglet.'
In St. James, you can buy anything, anytime. It's the city that never sleeps.
I hope that my car can make the long, steep, winding drive to Brasso Seco tomorrow. It is MY BIRTHDAY, and Sharon and I are going to pile our children, bedding, food, tents, and the scrabble (oy, who needs sleep anyway!), along with painting supplies, into the pardon-my-french car.
Good car. Nice car. Seats seven, and fits much stuff. Will not break down this weekend. I have a serious love-hate relationship with my car. The mechanic has recommended a scrap yard which he says will give me a fair price.
My Uncle Sligo and I share a birthday, (Bewaaaare the Ides of March!!) so it's a family get-together this weekend with a sprinkling of might-as-well-be-family. We will be accumulating, congregating and percolating at a converted cocoa shed, which has been turned into a really sweet "country home" with many beds and even ELECTRICITY! Kelly and Carl live in Brasso Seco, so they will come and hang out with us. Some people will go on a hike on Sunday, but others of us will lie in a hammock and doze between scrabble turns.
There is a huge clay oven there, so Carl has promised to cook up a mass of chicken in it. There is a lovely lawn and garden, with every type of hummingbird and the occasional monkey venturing out of the forest. There will be plenty of good food, guitars, and whatever else comes.
It's a tough old life, eh?