Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Have You Ever Been Guilty of Being Heavy-Handed...

…with the milk and butter when making schmashed taters?  (Please excuse my unsophisticated terminology.)  So your side dish lost its soft but substantial texture in exchange for a swampy, custard-like texture?  If this has never happened to you, I trust that you have enough imagination to envision the results.  (Digression: I got the same basic turnout a couple days ago when schmooshing boiled pumpkin and butternut squash with too much evaporated milk.  F.Y.I. it was still so amazingly delicious, especially served over an absorbent bed of rice.)  Now that your head is swimming with runny, creamy, spudly goodness, I’d like to ask if you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to stand in the gooeyness?  Perhaps you’d like to wade, ankle-deep, just to see what it’s like?  Maybe you want to hike for miles through a mushy-potato-floored obstacle course?
            You’ve never wondered what this would be like?  Never longed for such an experience?  Then perhaps my metaphor has failed (but not for lack of trying, right?).

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I was Asleep by 6:30 in the Evening...

…on St. Patrick’s Day.  In my defense, the early collapse followed a long, tiring day. 
Sandblast is an event that is organized by the Student Government Association (SGA) every term.  This term, it coincided with St. Patrick’s Day.  So the usual kegs of beer were transformed into kegs of green beer.  Other than that little spirited change, I understand Sandblast was largely the same as always.  A great host of students (and other authorized individuals, such as SOs) showed up in Grand Anse, each with a color-coded wristband that denoted not only that the wearer paid to attend, but also what type of drink he or she paid for (the options being alcoholic or non-alcoholic).  Next to a three-stories-tall inflated bottle of Carib beer, a stage was erected, and from it pulsed jarring tremors of bass, the vibrations of which could cause a spontaneous miscarriage within a mile radius.  Affixed near the center of the stage was what I initially mistook for a potato cannon, but the gun was actually launching suds.  I didn’t spend a lot of time near the five-foot subwoofers, so I didn’t see for myself, but I guess inebriation and bubble-wallowing go hand-in-hand.
Taking a quick dip before manning the tables as an SGA rep

In the middle of the fun

On the beach, tons of fun.

Would you drink green beer out of a coconut? Me too!

The sponsor of the day--and they were not shy about it!
Many party-goers spent their time on the adjoining beach where throngs of overworked students played water sports, chatted on the beach, or took a free ride on an inflated cushion drawn by a motorboat.  With very few exceptions, everyone wore their swimsuit.  Too bad I didn’t have the foresight to bring mine.  It just didn’t occur to me that the beach would be of access.  But that’s something I’ll keep in mind for next term.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

hive consolidation [gri-NEY-duhz buhg PROB-luhm] noun…

…1. unification of 138.2 square miles of insect colonies: The hive consolidation was confirmed to have taken place in or near my place of residence.
2. an act of merging and strengthening all populations of insects on one tropical island: The hive consolidation resulted in random swarming patterns and increased incidents of infestation.
3. cruel and unusual torture: Documented cases of hive consolidation have proven its long-term negative psychological effects.

I haven’t really discussed our mosquito situation lately.  That’s because the mosquitoes laid off for a heavenly span of three weeks.  For that time, I was tempted to suggest that we’d acquired an unlikely tolerance to them, or that we’d stopped smelling like foreigners—our expelled carbon dioxide suddenly adapting a hint of the Caribbean—so the stringy little vampires had withdrawn their forces.
I was mistaken.  That their promiscuity relies on moisture should have warned me of their imminent approach after our recent bouts of wetness.  But, being that I enjoyed the notion of insect-repelling personal evolution far too much, I was in no way prepared for the waves of blood-letting that have recently befallen us.
On Sunday alone, Ivan killed 25 mosquitoes in our apartment. I killed 18, bringing our slaughter-fest to a grand total of 43—not even half as many as we had hoped to kill, less than one-third of how many we had attempted to kill, and about one one-billionth of how many are left to kill.  I lose my sense of progress and accomplishment daily.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Most Unrecognizable Meal...

…is often the most appetizing, I’ve discovered.  Due, no doubt, to my lack of culture, I find foreign meals the most unrecognizable.  I mean, I can identify most hamburgers as such, but paneer mutter is still just peas in an exotic mix of sublimity.  While this may shock and revolt some, I enjoy not knowing what I’m eating; I see the mystery as part of the enjoyment.  When I say I enjoy not knowing what I’m eating, I am specifically referring to unfamiliar ingredients as part of a prepared meal, not that I enjoy being unaware of the phlegmy addition to my dollar-menu patty.
Saturday Ivan took a brief respite from his midterm preparations to join me at an event in Grand Anse.  The venue was mostly indoors or under a large pavilion, which is good since consistent rainfall has been uncharacteristically prevalent this dry season.  In one building, local vendors and artists sold their goods (I picked up a bag of cinnamon bark) and in the adjacent building and under the pavilion, international foods and drinks were being sold.  We had a very inexpensive plate from the Iran table.  The green slop to the left was rich and creamy, dotted with chunks of chicken.  The orange and gold clump on top was a thick casserole with kidney beans.  The pillow of rice was an unobtrusive pillow of rice.  I don’t know what the different parts of the dish were called—except, perhaps, the rice—and I am making assumptions that my familiarity with chicken and kidney beans led me to an accurate speculation of the main ingredients.  Regardless, it was exquisite.  Only reluctantly did I pass the plate to Ivan after eating my half.
My kind of food: foreign, unrecognizable and a little ugly.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Have I Withheld the Minutiae...

…of my every day?  As I deposit endless streams of photos onto my PC, I wonder if my addiction to the viewfinder has helped friends and family to appreciate my rendition of the day-to-day.  Does my photo journal translate everyday Grenada?
I hope so, because I don’t think I could bear the accusation of not snapping enough pictures.  Here’s a bit of trivia: In 2-months’ time, I accumulated 517 photos; at this rate, the end of our stay in Grenada will find me the proud owner of about 6,204 pictures; that’s roughly 9,306 megabytes of chronicled imagery.  Following my typical cycle of binge-and-purge, I’ll pare away at the collection in the years following our departure, until I am left with a handful of photographic memories, wondering why I didn’t take more.
I’ve posted about our trips to the grocery store.  But I’ve neglected the photos that tell the story.  Have I even mentioned the difference between the SGU buses and the reggae buses?  I’m afraid I’ve succumbed to the common mistake of assuming what’s trifling for me is trifling for all.
In keeping with our tradition, Ivan and I do our grocery shopping together on Saturday mornings.  We catch the SGU bus from True Blue to Grand Anse at 8 am.  Since all-night studying is apparently the accepted standard for medical students, the Saturday morning 8 am bus is essentially vacant.  Also, because the SGU buses actually meet my expectations of what a bus should be—rows of seats to accommodate more passengers than the meager twelve that can wedge into the reggae vans—this lack of students seems especially wasteful.  Nevertheless, the two of us constitute the majority—if not the entirety—of SGU affiliates traveling to IGA early Saturday mornings.  Our reward is a pleasantly calm shopping experience and no lines at checkout.