Thursday, January 5, 2012

Even if I could Read Lips...

…I still wouldn’t understand half of the people here who are kind enough to instruct us in one way or another.  So most of the time we ask the locals to repeat themselves twice or, if they seem genuinely patient, three times before assuming we gleaned enough from their Caribbean jargon to get the gist of the message.  Usually, though, we still don’t understand after the third repetition and just nod with a vague, “yeah.”  Our misinterpretation aside, most of the locals are pretty nice.  They don’t typically engage in conversation, but are happy to direct a confused or lost tourist (since we are likely mistaken for tourists).  If anyone is overly eager to talk to you and goes out of their way to show you where to go/what to do, they probably expect compensation.  So, as unfortunate as it seems, you must be on guard when here for too-friendly folk.

We went to Grand Anse beach again today.  I was prepared this time for the strays we would meet and brought along a small baggie of dog food.  Lo and behold, we settled into a spot and, almost instantaneously, a sad little pothound mama skirted by.  I whistled to her, withdrawing my bag enticingly.  (Envision swinging around a sandwich bag of brownish kibble, doing your very best to make those chunks seem inviting to a frightened little stray—it was not easy.)  She yielded to the temptation and, despite the fact that she wouldn’t take it from my hand, gobbled the bits along with dollops of sand happily.  Unfortunately, she was so pathetic, I emptied the whole bag right there and then, leaving none for the three other strays I met later in the day.

As to be expected, we were not left unmolested at the beach.  Something about us just screams “Rich American Tourists!”  We were approached by someone who introduced himself to us in a usual vendor fashion: “’allo! Dey call me de fruit man!”  Had he said something like “Dey call me de man who makes unoriginal jewelry dat is also mass produced and sold all over de island,” we would have shooed him away.  But… we do love fruit.  He was selling mangoes, something we had not yet tried in Grenada.  He offered one for us to try and it was full of juicy scrumptiousness.  Then he pulled out a bag of about one dozen and quoted twenty EC.  Nope.  That would be a reasonable price in the US, after the mangoes were shipped there, but in Grenada, they are grown and are widely available.  As we turned away, he changed his tune to ten EC.  A 50% drop in price is significant and was more than reasonable.  We bought the bag and do not regret it.  Those mangoes are soooo good! 

I finished off the sample mango he gave us, the juices running wild as I failed to eat it with grace.  Then I smiled at Ivan who, for some odd reason, began to laugh his head off.  Anyone want to guess why?  Here’s a hint: mango juice is very orange and can stain a little.  Basically, I looked like a toddler who just did a face-plant in a bowl of spaghetti-Os, with the telltale goatee of orange-tinged skin.  We went swimming for a while and I scrubbed at my face, but still had a hint of Chef Boyardee makeup.

We came home and lounged on the balcony, taking in a beautiful end to another great day.

What we ate today: For breakfast, eggs cooked with garlic, spiced with paprika, over toast with hot sauce, tomato and cucumber; for lunch, crackers with garlic spread and cucumbers; for snacks, pitted prunes, bananas, mangoes, bread with garlic spread (yes, we love garlic); for dinner, marinated pork pieces (with fresh bay, lime juice, vinegar, garlic), diced potatoes with chili powder, paprika, garlic and hot sauce, sautéed pole beans (given to us by our landlord) with the leftover marinade and soy sauce; for dessert, mangoes and Carib beer or rum and ginger beer.

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