Monday, November 27, 2006

Revolution Day in Chacala (out of date order)

There are many people swimming in the ocean this afternoon, the first day of the three day weekend for the Revolution Day. First time I have noticed so many swimmers enjoying the water this season. Of course, I have only had this nice view of the beach for the last week.

And I think I have been functioning at less than 100%. It kind of feels like I am waking up or something. Maybe I whacked my head a little harder than I thought.

I have been sleeping here, in my new place, for six or seven nights. And today was the first day I cooked something more than toast in the toaster. In fact, this was the first time I figured out how to light the new double burner gas hotplate my landlady got from somewhere.Some of the primary girls practicing
a dance routine afterschool at the Bibliotecha.

My landlady also got big blue tank for propane. Before there was a little propane tank about the size of a soccer ball. It had to be filled every couple weeks. That involved listening for the gas truck’s music, which sounds like the start of a horse race. Then running down to the road and asking the driver to take the tank to the Propane Station near Las Varas. Then he returned it filled in a few days. The driver can’t taken the money up-front, and somehow I was never home when he brought it back. So a neighbor would show up with the filled tank, and I would pay the $2 bucks to the neighbor.

But this big tank should last for a long time unless it blows up or something. There is also a large blue tank for the hot water heater, down under the stairs. It feels like it’s empty, so I will get it filled when in gets cooler. Many mid-December. Meanwhile, I just use the tinaco water, which is pretty lukewarm. Works okay.

Anyway, my big cooking experience took awhile. First, I had to figure out how to turn the gas burner on without blowing myself up. I actually looked up the two words printed next to the dial. One meant “close” and the other meant “start”. Pretty good clues. And then I dug around in my boxes and found my dishes and silverware and two pans. One for frying and one for heating/boiling. Which were somehow in the ice chest.

The town water came on while I was searching for things, so I filled the big plastic tub I just bought for washing clothes. My old one cracked, so now it has plants in it. It was 30 pesos. ($2.70US) . Then I filled the big garbage can my landlord uses to water the plants when the town was doesn’t come on. Finally I filled my three nice translucent 4 gallon plastic buckets for doing dishes and stuff. All these buckets have to be carried upstairs, but having the town water running for four hours or so most days is great.

Washed all the dishes, which were dirty from being moved, and silver, and decided what to keep packed up, and what to use. Organized one table for eating, one for washing dishes, a plastic chair for holding the clothes washing tub, and a large table for the stove and food, etc. Looks okay. Oilcloths over the plastic tables. If I double up the plastic chairs, it makes the line-of-sight over the teraza wall just high enough for seeing the ocean. I keep every bit of food in the sdplastic boxes my son brings down, filled with good stuff for me. And in the fridge, and in zip-lock bags. I don’t want ants or wasps here. It’s nice to be back to cooking outside. I like it a lot.

Once I got the stove going, and dishes washed, I made six hard-boiled eggs. And then I had celery sticks, V-8 juice, watermelon and 3 hard-boiled eggs for lunch. That’s sort of a cooked lunch, right?

I will have either Cheerios/banana/milk or quesadillas with tomatoes for supper. I have keeping an eye on when someone is cooking fresh tortillas in one of the restaurants and buy a couple. Warm off the grill. I never knew how good a tortilla could be until I started eating them just-cooked. Ummm good!!!

It feels good to be settled in. I want to go swimming, but I think I will wait until my stitches are out. Tomorrow I think.
My landlady's restaurant,

Rsparanza was my landlady at the beach last winter.
Esparanza, her daughter-in-law Vero,
and her two granddaughters, Dahlia and Jasmine.

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