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.
On the SGU bus
Bus stops listed on the window

Another incentive for early bird errands is the “fruit guy.”  Or, more precisely, lack thereof.  The “fruit guy” has a stall directly across from the Spiceland Mall SGU bus stop.  So his obvious targets are individuals somehow involved with the school.  Our wonder at students’ patronage was doubled when we discovered his prices.  Oh, and he’s pushy, just like the beach peddlers who force their homemade bracelets onto your wrists or beg their way into your wallet.  So when we arrive first thing in the morning and find his shoddy, spindle-legged stool unoccupied, our shopping experience is that much more pleasantly calm.
No high-pressure sales today!

Studying while waiting for the bus

Waiting for the bus outside of the Spiceland Mall

What else could possibly add to our IGA visits, you might ask?  The small insights and new discoveries.  For instance, last week I plunged into the baking aisle with all intents and purposes of locating a bottle of molasses.  Were I slightly more worldly, I might have considered the English influence on Grenada and been less perturbed that molasses was not sold in bottled form, nor was it sold as molasses.  Luckily my husband was clever enough to locate what I initially assumed was a miscategorized tin of wood varnish.  Treacle is the English version of molasses and they are essentially one and the same.  But I still had to overcome my skepticism.  Being brought up on Brer Rabbit means molasses is sweet bottled tar.  And since Brer Rabbit hasn’t changed its label in thirty years (or my parents have owned the same bottle of molasses my whole life), a vivid red tin of Lyle’s Black Treacle wasn’t a very convincing substitute.  Then we got home and pried off the lid.  After licking one droplet from my finger, I knew everything would be okay.  And 50 ginger cookies later, it was.
Not very appetizing... it looks like motor oil

It's okay, that drop will take an hour to reach the counter

An hour later...

These did not last long

Allow me to backpedal a bit.  Before we bought the treacle, before we rejoiced the empty stool, before we claimed all seven rows of bus seats for ourselves, we woke up.  Nothing about my morning ritual would be noteworthy, if we weren’t in Grenada.  However, we are in Grenada and as such, we have the great privilege of opening our back door to all the brilliance the island has to offer.  This is something I am still getting used to.  As a native of Erie, waking up at 6 am is akin to waking up in the middle of the night for all an open door is going to do you.  Ten out of every twelve months of my life has been spent cocooned in a greyish gloom of swollen clouds and a never-ending phenomenon known as “lake effect [fill in appropriate precipitation and/or meteorologic event].”  Convinced as I was that postcard-blue skies do not exist, I was grossly unprepared for Grenadian mornings.

Itching for some more inconsequentialities?  I have made no secret the abundance of Old MacDonald’s crew.  Since goats, cows and chickens frequently roam unchecked, I don’t know when to suggest their migrations are passing into the realm of encroachment.  I’m also not sure if it’s fair for me to accuse one beast of burden of encroaching, while implying another is just visiting, based on how intimidated I am.  Direct your attention, please, to Dudley, the floppy-eared storybook moo-cow.  Dudley paid us a timid visit two days in a row.  On the second day, Dudley brought a friend straight from Cuddle Town’s petting zoo: Tibbles.  Dudley and Tibbles posed for a few pictures, then lined up in the road and stood absolutely still, looking like two aluminum bulls-eyes in a carnival target range.  Further down the road, we discovered Dudley and Tibbles did not come without a chaperone.  If cow warlords exist, this one annihilated the rival ram clan and took its leader’s horns as a trophy headdress.  As we passed, I noticed that her chain was caught in the overgrowth and that is the singular reason I stopped to take her picture.  Though she held perfectly still, her expression read loud and clear: “I will mess you up.”  I call her Bertha the Bavarian Steamroller, because all three of those words intimidate me.  And, yes, she was encroaching.
Meet Dudley

Dudley, meet Ivan

Meet Tibbles

Hello again Dudley

Carnival cows?

Despite the horns, this is a female. A scary scary female.

I would prefer not to be impaled by Bertha’s lethal horns.  I would also prefer not to end my life careening off of a Grenadian cliff at the hands of a harried bus driver.  And that is my segue into the little mishap that caused our tardiness to the orphanage on Monday. 
Thanks to an informative tailgating Mack truck, our bus driver was alerted to a dangerously low tire Monday afternoon.  Spurred on by his companion’s impression of the tire (“Whoomp!  Whoomp! Whoomp!”), the driver stopped at a gas station for air.  The tire was damaged beyond hope of reinflation, so they jacked up the bus (really, more of a van) and threw on a spare.  Then, in the manner of the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, the driver shot out of the gas station and flew us to the orphanage at breakneck speed, oblivious to the SOs’ white-knuckled death grips anchoring them to their seats.  Although he had a rearview mirror, I am under the assumption looks of terror do not translate in the Grenadian culture.  Either that or the driver didn’t care.  Happily, we arrived at Queen Elizabeth very much intact and spent the rest of our two hours nurturing threadbare nerves and laughing children.

That glee is stemming from the pedicure he's getting (which included sparkle nail polish)

Not just nail polish, but aquatic stickers too!

Miss Desiree was kind enough to make Play-Doh for the kids

A sticker adds a little flare to that Band-Aid

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