25 August 2008

x Days of Summer

On the 9th day of August . . .
Ferried over to Grenada to partake in the festivites of Carnival, kicking
off the first of many sleepless nights with the spectacle that is Panorama.

On the 10th day of August . . .
Rested up at Grand Anse Beach to prepare for the impending 48-hour nonstop emancipation celebration.

On the 11th day of August . . .
Woke up at 4 am, donned our best rags, protected our hair with scarves, and jumped in our first ever Carnival Monday St. George's J'Ouvert at sunrise along the waterfront. Throngs of people coated in paint ranging the entire specrtum of color danced in the street while slowly making the way from one end of town to the other, gathering a rainbow effect on skin and clothes as the parade marched forward.

On the 11th night of August . . .

Paid Carib Brewing Company $40 EC (about $15 US) to play Monday Night Mas with their band and don the logo tshirt, ball cap, glow stick, glow necklace, and whistle and to dance by their truck, drink their beer, and become one in a massive group of walking advertisements on parade.
On the 12th day of August . . .
Sauteurs J'Ouvert Morning. After napping slightly, making the 85-minute trek via taxi to the northernmost town in Grenada, and groggily waiting for the sun to cast its beams across our piece of
heaven in the Caribbean, we painted ourselves and each other with newborn girl pink and slowly danced the three miles through the lush countryside in the outskirts of Sauteurs.

On the 12th evening of August . . .
Spectated instead of partipated in Last Lap/Fancy Mas.

07 August 2008

First and Three

Saturday, 02 AUG 08:
Competed in a swim race from an island (a questionable) 1.25 miles from shore. Three seconds into the race, assaulted by a jellyfish -- on my face & upper chest -- who was more than happy to make my acquaintance . . . or didn't want me racing. Had I known what it was at the time, I probably would have been a little more concerned. It felt like a thousand tiny electric needles boring themselves into my flesh. However, the painfult jolt lasted only as long as it took me to pause and react with a "what was THAT!? Maybe a live wire fell off of a boat somewhere and is shocking the entire Caribbean Sea . . ." Then, 20-25 minutes away from that incident, and about 30 metres from shore, something else got me right on the jaw, leaving me with a painfully itchy welt that stayed for a few hours. It could have been another jellyfish (or the same one chasing me down), or some other mysterious sea
creature vexed with my swimming skillz.
Recovery status: 100%

Monday, 04 AUG 08:
Last lap of Carriacou Regatta Festival. Observed such n
onsense as the Greasy Pole, the Bun & Coke race, Tug of War, and the much-anticipated Donkey Race. You would be correct in assuming that, combined, these activities are best described as a hybrid of one of those Japanese game shows and the entertainment at a 5-year-old's birthday party. At the end of the Donkey Race, when the MC was making his speech to the competitors, I decided to meander over to where I stowed my purse in a friend's vending stall down the road. Just as I was crossing the street, without warning from the MC or anyone else, the herd of nervous donkeys and excited riders came charging in my direction. "Thundering" would be the more appropriate word, except I couldn't hear anything but the din from the crowd and the music blaring from the speakers. Three feet from the curb of my destination, I got bounced by a donkey. It spun me around, left my right quad swollen and throbbing, and broke my strappy turquoise sandal. There are no known witnesses (other than the donkey & rider and possibly a few tourists who got a good laugh out of the scene) or documentation of said event, or even a bruise to photograph & share with the world. But I swear this actually happened.
Recovery status: 77% -- quad is still slightly tender but functioning otherwise normally; sandal is down for the count.

Tuesday, 05 AUG 08
Around 11, I decided it was time to drag myself out of bed. From my lau
ghable pile of clean rags, I chose something decent enough to be seen in my village for the 6-minute walk to my landlady's shop to pay rent. First, I put on my sports bra & tshirt. Next, I pulled on some undies and gauchos. Almost immediately, I felt a discomfort in the panties, not unlike that dry, itching curse that is razor burn. Forgetting the time since I've shaved my bikini line has long passed the razor burn stage, I ignored the burn, since that particular human ailment eventually subsides. Only this one got worse, and started burning my girl parts (NOT the bikini line) and around my bumbum. Shortly after the burning, the sensation turned into sharp stinging, which eventually turned into intense itching, which I finally realized were the symptoms from the bite of the microscopic mouth of an ant. There were ants in my pant(ie)s.
I stripped off my skivvies and examined the damage as three or four red ant assholes fell to the floor. I'd like to say I squashed them in a murderous rage, but there were more pressing matters at hand. Frantically, I applied almost an entire bottle of calamine -- first with a cotton ball, then more he
avily with my finger -- ANYTHING to make the torture subside!
Then, to distract myself from the discomfort ailing my nether regions, I began shaking out and whipping against the wall every article of clean clothing that I own. Piles of these miniature hellions dispersed with every shirt I lifted, and some scattered to the floor when I shook it like . . . an ant nest was in my shirt. Meanwhile, the fire in my crotch started to throb and itch like a $2 hooker's. Imagine me sweating profusely in the Caribbean humidity, violently thrashing each of my garments against the wall while simultaneously scratching myself. Go ahead, laugh, and laugh heartily. Why else would I be sharing?
Once I was satisfied that I'd forcefully evicted the tiny warmongers from their homes & my clean pile was safely on my bed, I began the deantification: first, sweep up the dirt and poison maws before they know what hit 'em. Then, run outside to dump the mess into the yard, smacking the cheap plastic dustp
an against the porch extra hard, you know, just to teach them mother cunts a real lesson. Of course, the dustpan didn't agree with the punishment method, since it felt the brunt of the abuse, and decided to break into no less than ten pieces. I guess then I had no choice to defend my comfortable abode but with chemical warfare. Luckily, the nice woman who lives next door gave me a tiny bag of mysterious white powder a while ago when I was complaining about cockroaches the size of playing cards. I dug out the stash of pest repellent and proceeded to voraciously rub the stuff on the grout along one wall of my bedroom, the apparent entry of attack.
Mystery Powder seems to have done the trick, as there are no live ants to see, just shriveled, writhing bodies that once were hellion torture-makers in another dimension. Rest in pieces, midget monsters of misery.
Recovery status: 52%. See attached photo of my body's reaction from bites sustained on my torso on Sunday, five days ago. Photo was taken today, around noon.