Sunday, 4 December 2016

A Day of Sunshine

Nov 30
I get up after the first call to prayer, The Muezzin sings out for 2 minutes or so, mostly melodic, in Arabic of course. It's dark still but soon the eastern sky lightens and the mountains are backlit as the sun rises towards the edge of the hills. Down below in the city there are occasional taxis and motorbikes, a few people are walking down the hill to the market where trucks have arrived, unloading sacks of oranges from Nigeria, baskets of tomatoes and hundreds of melons passed  and thrown to waiting vendors who stack them in the open area in short wide pyramids. Sometimes the whole area is a peculiar green from the piles of them, like thousands of grapes covering the place. Running up the hill are the morning exercisers, who congregate in front of the building doing stretches and counting in husky, breathy voices together.
 The Sun makes it to the edge of the horizon just after 7am and below, the city is bathed in dust or haze, everything is indistinct except the noise. More people walking down the hill as the traffic increases. The sun is now brilliant, strong and hot as the light fills our apartment. I have to drop the curtain since I’m facing east and it shines into my eyes. The cool air of the night dissipates quickly. We have put our “perishables” on the balcony overnight and I pull them in before the sun has risen past  the mountain. Some vegetables and occasionally cheese. This is my time every morning. I sit and write and look at email.
Elke sits with her coffee and does exercise in the other room, then we make breakfast. After, I do the dishes standing at the window with the curtain part way down. The dishes dry quickly with the sun shining directly on them. By 11am the sun has gone past the edge of the building and we are in the shade.  A bit of wind might come up the dust/haze diminishes some.  By 1pm it is very warm.
Yesterday after writing /editing a piece for BWC I walked down to the market. There I bought some pears (avocado)  1 ripe, 1 almost ripe and 2 not so ripe- 900 francs- a bit expensive, the season is about to start so there are not a lot of them available. When they are, we buy 10 or 11 for 100 francs. about 20 cents. Tomatoes 10 or 12 for 500 francs-$1.00  Fresh (still covered in dirt) carrots, potatoes, and beans(no dirt), papaya’s in season and my daily lemon. Occasionally a treat; an eggplant, mushrooms in season, Chinese cabbage, broccoli or cauliflower. We rarely if ever buy melons, too big, no fridge, they go bad fast.
 After shopping I walked back up the hill, slowly with my walking stick. Arriving at the top I was sweating pretty heavily, heart rate up, shirt soaked. Inside the apartment a cool wind blows up or down the stairs. I have to watch myself on them  as they are inconsistant in depth and height. I’ve tripped a few times.
 Elke will have done laundry in a bucket in the bathroom and hung it out on the balcony. We have no large sink, this apartment is actually office space. We had a tap installed on the toilet  line to fill buckets. Dish water gets dumped down the toilet. The laundry is usually dry by the time we eat lunch.
By 5pm the wall in the bathroom has heated the pipes in it enough to have an almost hot shower. It  will radiate heat all night long so sometimes we leave the balcony door open during the night.
I miss the sunsets, they are on the other side of the building. By sticking my head out of the bathroom window I can sometimes catch it but it’s awkward. The window is just big enough for my head to poke through.And I have to remember to look. Around 6 the bats begin to fly from the cliff to the east, the flow of pedestrians up the hill increases and the setting sun lights up any clouds building in the north east,  bright red and pink. We often sit out on the balcony to cool down and talk  until the smell of some noxious burning substance drives us inside.

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