Saturday, March 11, 2006

Flippin the Bird

We're having car problems, so the Isuzu Rodeo is into the dealer for repairs, after Bigness's mechanic broke it worse than you can imagine so that it was spewing oil and great big clouds of smoke rolling out of the engine.
Bigness: "I'm not taking my car back to that M'foker again, this is the last time he foks up my vehicle" He said it wasn't dangerous, that we just needed to keep an eye on the oil and add whenever necessary.
... but this is from the man who pryed the valve cover off with a pinch bar... oh geez, I'm digressing again.

So I had Bigness drop me and United Nations Baby off at the house in the bush (on the mainland) where my studio is located, along with fresh food and purified water for a few days, before he took the car into the dealership. Now remember, its a small country, and we have only 1 Isuzu dealership for the entire country, so the wait can be long, even if business is slow. Bigness took the bus back (30 miles down the Western Highway) and then walked in from the junction, about a mile. He walks fast. I guess you can expect that from a man with a 36" inseam. Its a simple enough repair, if they had the parts, but alas, they don't and so they have to be ordered from Guatemala City (in a different country) and then one part comes from Miami - who even knows when that will be here. But we'll call you back and let you know, the parts manager says. And you know he never does call us back. Days pass, no call, so Bigness calls them, and then hands me the phone (thanks buddy). Nope, no parts, nope, no idea when they will be here, nope no idea about the cost, but oops, you can't come an get your car because the top part of the engine is off. So we're taking the bus now, which shouldn't be a big deal, the tourists do it all the time, except for the main bus company went bankrupt, into receivership and is now shut down, so there's no bus schedule or bus terminal, there are a couple of little bus companies that have started up you just have to sit on the side of the road and wait and wait and wait, all willy nilly. So that's what we did. It was time to come out of the bush and go back to work on Caye Caulker. So we hiked the mile from the house out to the junction, Bigness way ahead with his 36" inseam, me pulling United Nations Baby along, following the lady with the big basket balanced on top of her head, through the shortcut trail, then down the road out to the highway. She's the powder bun lady. Every morning she gets up at 5 a.m. and bakes her powder buns, which tasted like a light fluffy oatmeal cookie, but without the oatmeal, walks about 2 miles out to the junction and sells her powder bun on the bus all the way to Belize City. This must be a regular thing, because while we were waiting the hour for the bus to come cars and trucks were pulling over to buy her powder bun. Two dollah gets you four a dem.
UNBaby: Granma I want one of them.
Me: O.K. but just a nibble because they will make you thirsty. You can eat them when we get to the city and get some juice. (Bigness had convinced me that we didn't need to take along water because its just a short ride to the city)
UNBaby walks over to the powder bun lady holding her middle finger straight up in the air with the other fingers folded down she flips the lady the bird, right in her face she's shaking her little fist. I hear UNBaby say to the powder bun lady "Crampa's finger is like that because its broken."
PBLady: huh? what she say?
Me: oh she's just explaining about her grandpa's finger. (And indeed it is broken, from the age of 15 he's had a severed tendon in his middle finger on his left hand, the finger sticks up at a wierd angle)
Bigness: gial put your finger down!
UNBaby: I have to go potty.
Me: come quick, I'll hold you up but don't aim for my feet.
Bigness: the bus is coming.

So we abandon the idea of peeing in the bushes and get on the bus - its an old Bluebird schoolbus that's been repainted (sort of), the one that stops every 100 feet or so to let passengers off and take on new passenegers and get to Belize City an hour later, UNBaby sits on my lap with her legs crossed. Three people crammed into a seat meant for 2. She was quiet the whole trip concentrating on not peeing on my lap. And she succeded.

Powder Bun Recipe

4 cups flour
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 stick butter
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoon baking powder
1 small can of evaporated milk
Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and mix well. Melt butter and shortening together and set aside. In a dish, beat eggs and vanilla then add to dry ingredients along with melted butter and shortening. Add some evaporated milk and knead to a stiff dough. Roll into little balls and press on cookie sheets. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes at 350 degrees until golden brown.


Rev. Dennis J. Shane, D.D., ULC said...

Your studio is on the mainland??? I never knew that... I could have sworn the main office was on CC.

Caribbean Colors said...

The gallery/store is on Caye Caulker and my studio used to be also (so states the website...still), but I bought a house on the mainland earlier this year and moved all my art junk into it. My little apartment on the caye was just overflowing with all that "stuff too good to throw out" So I moved it to the mainland and have a whole room dedicated to just art production. I can close the door to it if I want. If we add onto the building again I'll move it back here.

Ale said...

the whole bus thing is totally like what i saw in costa rica. it seemed like ALL the locals do is hang out a bus stops and wait for the bus... and they look so peaceful too- i was getting aggrivated just looking at them as we wizzed by in the car- so hope your isuzu gets better soon.

thanks for the recipe- yum!!!

Guyana-Gyal said...

What an adventure! What an ADVENTURE!

Caribbean, this must be soooo completely different from what you knew back in the US. And you cope with humour and joie de vivre.

Caribbean Colors said...

I should remember the basic rule of thumb though, when you leave the bush, take water with you, cuz you aint gonna see no more until civilization.
We get so spoiled having a car. The bus cost us a dollar each, and gas would cost us $30 each way.