Saturday, September 30, 2006

Yeah, well...

Today I went with Ed to buy fruit from the guys out on Mohammed Najeeb (the busy street a block from our house). The construction workers creating an apartment building across the street were singing and banging something (their hammers?) in rhythm. They've been working on that building for the entire time we've been here, but it looks exactly the same. Maybe they've been building interior walls. I sure don't know.

The fruit guys were happy to see us. They hadn't opened up their stands until 10 or 11 or so. Early in the day during Ramadan is a slow time. They all know us by sight, which may or may not be a good thing. At first I was sure they were way overcharging us, but the prices have been kind of consistent. So either they're giving us a fair price, or they're good at remembering the exorbitant amounts khawajaat will pay for 2 kilos of bananas.

We got a watermelon (the guy slapped it so I could hear and said, "Quoyiss?" which means, "Good?"... I had no clue so I just nodded contentedly), and 4 mangoes (mangos?), and some bananas. The bananas are short and soft and powdery in your mouth. They weighed out the bananas on their ancient little scales, with a 2-kilo weight in one side and the bananas in the other. They keep adding bananas until the banana side touches down, and then they bag 'em up for you.

I made Ed carry the watermelon for me. It was a monster.

Today the street kids were pestering us more than usual, since we were the only people out. A vendor aimed a kick at them so that they wouldn't interfere with the sale. But they got to us while we were walking back. I understood what they were saying this time: "Give us money, give us money, we need to eat." So I gave them each a banana. And walked away fast.

Right before we turned into our front yard (which has high walls around it, like every other house in the neighborhood), I saw a man with a hose watering some trees. He was joking around with the security guard of the building, who had rolled up his pant legs, and the hose guy aimed the water so high that it made rainbows before falling down.

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