Friday, January 2, 2009

Sounds of a Saturday Morning

I think I mentioned that the ubiquitous crows of the neighborhood's countless free-ranging roosters kick off at about 4am. They continue at intervals of two minutes or so until about 9am. This would be less irritating if there was one or who roosters, but it amounts to a veritable dawn chorus of domestic foul in the numbers I'm talking about. Three mornings into this, and I find I'm almost used to it. The roads are largely unused by vehicles aside from buses (wee, rickety minibuses) which speed by periodically accompanied by noises which my non-mechanical ear diagnose as "sans muffler". These sounds start at about 6.30, I assume when everyone heads off to work.

One of the little kids next door begins screaming and crying. Sounds somewhat like my (almost) 4 year old pitching a whopper tantrum, but it's somehow a slightly more distressing sound to me, like perhaps he's hurt. Trips my "Mum nerve", makes me anxious. I listened to him wail, and couldn't hear anyone respond to him. He stopped eventually.

Dogs bark a lot, and fight. Small yappy sounds punctuated with larger sounding growls and scuffles. I passed a vet's office the other day, wonder if any of my neighborhood dogs are ever seen. Frankly I doubt it.

I'm writing at this moment to the sound of a piglet squealing loudly. I wonder if the kids are playing with (or pestering) it, or if they're getting ready to kill and eat him. Given the marked crecendo to his squeals, and their subsequent abrupt end I suspect the latter. Hmm. Neighborhood pig prepared for eating. Why hadn't I factored that one in? Interesting to contemplate that as I munch on my weetbix and bananas.

It's a hot one today. The sky is bright and almost an unbroken blue. I've come to rather wish for the cool promise of cloud cover which brings with it the sudden, intense 20-30 minute downpours. The rain cools the air for about as much time again before the humidity replaces the heat and I wait again for the cycle to repeat.

I promise I'll stop talking about the heat soon. Really.

I'm doing a whole lot of nothing for a few days. After a pretty manic couple of weeks traveling with Husband and boys, and then a week of extended family and the benign but nevertheless quite exhausting dances which go along with that, I'm talking three days to just sit.

I venture out to the town periodically. Walked for a couple of hours yesterday in the relative cool of the morning. It was still bloody hot though, within a half hour my fingers and wrists were swelling. I found the sunscreen I was looking for - should have bought that in NZ (1495VT - ~$15.00 for 100mls!), bought an enormous hand (I think about 25) of tiny perfectly ripe bananas at the market for the equivalent of a dollar. I also bought a couple of postcards and stood in front of the display for a while thinking that it seems fraudulent to focus so much on the pristine beaches and impossibly blue water of this place, strategically placed starfish in the shallows, when the reality of this place for most of the people who actually live here is to my inexperienced, western eye, a good deal bleaker, and certainly uglier than the beautiful images on sale for 110vt each. I suppose though, that the world isn't really all that interested in the grubby bits. In the States we buy postcards of the beautiful tall buildings of the NY skyline and central park, but there are no postcards of the housing projects, or the homeless people. Perhaps the desire to focus on the perfect, and ignore the less-than-perfect is universal?

I walked by the hospital in the morning, watched the occasional parent/child pair wander hand in hand past the piles of rotting rubbish piled by the gates and up the dirt driveway to the very modest mother child health building where I will present myself early on Monday morning.

I'm keen to get started, but I'm enjoying this little bit of time to myself, with no greater problems to sort out than what I'll make for dinner tonight (smuggled quinoa?) and totally uninterrupted knitting and reading time for at least another day or so.