This one is a bit long, sorry!
The dogs are all at my heels growling and whining good naturedly for food. Jasper the cat sits sedately, his tail wrapped around his legs, his eyes blinking lazily.
Mum runs up to the car to remind dad to get toilet paper, eggs and milk.
Dad tells Douglas we will get cerveza (beer) and he chuckles in his deep easy way.
Dad is now speaking in Spanish to them and they are talking back and I am going to read.
(Note: if you are squeamish about grossness and blood and muddy toes, you might want to skip this section)
We go down some steps into a large area, covered in various places-wherever the stands are.
A woman yells out
“Naca tamale!” By way of greeting.
The stands themselves are watched by men and women boys and girls their wares all set out and mingling among each other. They sell fruits and vegetables, eggs, toys, shirts, shoes, kitchen supplies, anything from tomatoes to tajatadoras.
The ground is dirt and mud with the occasional lettuce leaf and other various items of interest.
I have a bag on my shoulder with a girl on a bike decorated on it. It's quite pretty.
Dad buys the various vegetables and then hands them to me and I carry them in the bag.
Douglas and Ninoska walk off to get their produce and dad and I go around from place to place comparing prices, stock and…. Just wait a second the word will come to me…. Not variety… not produce… QUALITY! That's it.
We buy tomatoes, carrots, garlic, onions, potatoes, cabbage, a pineapple, a watermelon, some bananas and toilet paper.
Oh and some pig fat so mum can make lard.
For a short while my introverted soul is drowned in the happiness of being with dad and seeing the Jinotepe mercado for the first time. I smile at people, and even think about talking to the vendors.
Just think about it, mind you. I don't actually do it.
And then we go into the slightly lower part of the market, where the meat is sold.
And I'm not squeamish about meat at all. But the… delicious smell of raw meat and soap and fish… is enough to make the hardest stomach turn.
The first three seconds were fine.
The next five minutes were me reminding myself to stop breathing through my nose!! And NOT thinking about the fact that I haven't had breakfast yet.
I could really go for a chocolate mousse right about now.
Then Ninoska says something about sangre (blood) and arroz (rice) and all thoughts of chocolate pudding are replaced with a memory of a friend thinking a certain blood pudding was chocolate pudding.
Well I did warn you.
We leave the lovely blood market. Douglas nearly trips over a scruffy looking nerf herder- er, that is, a dog. And I notice how much better fed they look than the greater population of scroungy mangy dogs around these parts.
Which is no great surprise, seeing as they spend all day in a meat market.
We pass a little girl in a pink shirt and jeans who is glaring at the sun in her eyes.
I put my bag over my pocket with my phone in it, in case someone should take a liking to it and it should vacate my pocket by means of picking.
My introverted self is taking over my brain and suddenly everyone is a possible thief and everyone seems to be glaring at me and so. many. people. Send! Immediate!! Help!!!
I remind myself of what a fun entry this would make and try to remember everything so I can write it down later. I let my muse loose and immediately a million stories pound inside my head begging to be written down.
I am a little better now. I try to stay in the present and stop thinking of how I'm going to word this entry and what pithy sayings and marvelously sarcastic lines I will throw in.
It's hard, believe it or not.
I don't succeed very well.
The market smells of dirt and food and slightly of various soaps. The early morning sun is light and kind to the early birds and people aren't very loud. There are occasional hustling out of the way for a bike or a cart or a larger person.
A girl in a blue skirt sells something in a drink dispenser which I find out later is coffee. After a trip to the truck to unload and situate food, dad and I return and help Ninoska and Douglas get their groceries.
We pass a little stand where a woman grabs a light colored dough from a huge hunk on a table. It covers half the table easily and looks about half gone. She takes a handful and pounds it out onto a thin circle of colored plastic. Then she slaps it down onto a pile of similar things. These will eventually be cooked on a griddle over a small fire and then sold as fresh tortillas for three cordobas.
Nothing of consequence happens after this. We leave eventually, dad buys a fresh coconut, and I almost break the eggs but nothing else happens.
Douglas and Ninoska are dropped off at a house and they start to cut up and get ready for… something? I don't know what.
I'm sure I'll learn eventually.
And now on the way home, I am reading comfortably when who should make an appearance but my empty stomach growling for all it's worth and screaming at me to stop bumping around on this road.
I think about barfing all over my lap and maybe out the window in an outraged answer, but I calm myself with deep breaths instead.
My stomach is very touchy about any motion.
I almost barfed after swinging, and don't get me started on car rides.
Fortunately, airplanes are not too much of a hazard on my delicate stomach.
(Note: the gore has passed, you of the squirmy stomachs can again read in peace)
After breakfast I read Princess Academy and finished it. THAT'S A GOOD BOOK RIGHT THERE. DON'T LET THE TITLE DECEIVE YOU.
I downloaded some music and books to read and then did some accounting after lunch.
While I was hard at it, dad took some of the kids back to Douglas and Ninoska's stand. After a few hours they came back with the news that they were out of food and needed to buy more to sell.
We listened to Adventures in Odyssey for a while, and I carried out a few buckets to mum, who was washing laundry.
Then I considered doing a blog post, and decided against it. How have I managed to be so uninspired???
Don't ask me, I'm not the one reading about the misadventures of a random stranger!!
That what I write about.
I made salad for supper, and mum made chicken (a treat indeed), and dad melted the cheese in a saucepan.
The smells like eight dogs went through a carwash with their socks on (from last year) and then laid in the sweltering sun for three and a half hours before calmly reminding me that they have a sewage appointment in an hour and they intend to be there.
Oh and they brought the pet canary with them.
In other words it smells like heaven.
And the name in Spanish is translated to 'stinky foot cheese’.
And it is surprisingly pretty good.
If you happen to be that salt monster from Star Trek.
(You know, that thing with the suction cuppy things all over that could shift-shape and it ate salt like the willies?)
Then we drove back here to the stand.
Which is more like a porch attached to someone's house, which happens to be exactly what it is.
I think they know the person.
We sat around for a while and then went to look at the actual stands. Right below ours on street level- okay fine it was like three feet below ours. Work with me here- is a tent with expensive looking jewelry. Next to it is a stand that sells caramel apples, french fries and something else I couldn't quite determine the substance of.
There were booths with shirts, with baby dresses, with baby shoes. Booths with hats and necklaces, rosaries and bracelets. Booths with food and booths with carved shells.
Quite a few little statues of penguins, elephants, geese, and piggy banks.
(As I repeatedly pointed out to Rachel as “piggy bonks” in a nasally voice. She didn't find it as amusing as I did.
I don't know why)
These were disgustingly colored and annoyingly ugly.
I plastered a fake grin to my face and told Anne how gorgeous I found them.
She also did not find me as amusing as I really am.
We came back and I begged Meg to let me hold her, insisting that
“I've hardly seen you all day!!” To which Peter said that he too had hardly seen her.
To which she hugged his neck and he said
“I'm glad you're my sister.”
And though I was annoyed at being deprived this hug, I nearly cried out
“AWWWWW!!!” And whipped out a camera for proof for future years.
Now, as I sit here and write this, I feel as though I've missed a lot of things but it is hard to remember every detail.
I end the night rotting my brain cells out by watching Flight of Fancy with my family.
Almost funny at parts??
Never watching again.
Oh yeah and a scorpion almost bit me, but Rachel saw it moving in the dark so I was saved a possible swelling of the tongue, armpits, and a fever for a couple of days.