Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hummingbirds and Getting picked up on a bus.

Hello everyone! All is well here. It’s getting hot. This morning I had a very successful computer class. I would write about that but I was too busy recounting the story that involved cute police officers. You’ve got to decide what’s most important, you know? Serious business next time, maybe.
I hope everyone is ok and not too worried about the financial crisis. I’m thinking about you.


p.s. I added some pics in the post below.

Wednesday, Oct. 8: Don’t forget hummingbirds are amazing.

I was just getting used to hummingbirds when I read this:

“Consider the hummingbird for a long moment. A hummingbird’s heart beats ten times a second. A hummingbird’s heart is the size of a pencil eraser. A hummingbird’s heart is a lot of the hummingbird. Joyas valadoras, flying jewels, the first white explorers in the Americas called them, and the white men had never seen such creatures, for hummingbirds came into the world only in the Americas, nowhere else in the universe, more than three hundred species of them whirring and zooming and nectaring...

Each one visits a thousand flowers a day. They can dive at sixty miles an hour. They can fly backward. They can fly more than five hundred miles without pausing to rest...

Every creature on earth has approximately two billion hearbeats to spend in a lifetime. You can spend them slowly, like a tortoise, and live to be two hundred years old, or you can spend them fast, like a hummingbird, and live to be two years old.” (Brian Doyle’s “Joyas Valadoras”)

And I say, Don’t forget things are amazing, even if you see them every day.

I try to take a moment every time I see the moon to realize that it is a hunk of rock, being lit by the sun, both a gazillion miles away, as we are all floating through space.

You just can’t take life too seriously if you keep the amazing things in mind. Or at least, that’s what I hope.

Sunday, Oct 12. Picked up on the bus
Sasha and I are on a packed bus. I didn’t mind riding without a seat when I thought I was just going to site, but then we last-minute changed our plans from the “I have to work in the morning” option to the “Oh screw it, it’ll be fun” option, and now I realize I’ll be standing like this for an hour and a half more.

We are two deep in the aisles. Everyone standing is leaning toward the windows, hands on the luggage rail, as though we are about to have an uncomfortable exam. Sasha’s hip is on my left, the arm rest of the seat I’m facing is digging in to my knees, and I have an aerial view of the overweight woman sitting there. On that armrest, the arm of the overweight woman is touching my leg, feeling like a wet slug across my thighs. Next to me is a soldier, actually not touching me. Behind me, the man facing the other way has his butt right up against mine. When I try to move forward, the arm rest digs, when I move back, I’m pressing into a stranger’s butt. Everyone standing on the bus is having a similar experience. The seated are royalty. I’m trying to talk myself out of closterphobia.

I think about those rail cars packed with Holocaust victims on their way to death camps. Then I feel terribly guilty about that thought even coming to mind. Am I comparing this to that? I hope not, because that’s...Just don’t even have that come to mind, please.

Sasha and I are sweaty. Everyone’s sweaty. I feel like a traveler.

Beyond belief, the bus stops for the chipa lady, and we now officially have what my father would have called “ten pounds of shit in a five-pound bag.” As bad as it is for us, this poor woman has to make the rounds, all the way back and all the way up, the third person wedging through in an aisle, carrying a three-foot basket of chipa and making change.

It’s actually kind of fun to watch the wave of people’s scrunched, pained faces as she reaches between them to grab hold of a seatback and pulls herself through with a struggle reminiscent of birth.

It was also one of those bonding experience that has us laughing with the two soldiers next to us.
Sasha keeps looking past my shoulder, smiling and saying, “Oh, just had a little eye contact back there.” This is with soldier to the right of the one to my right. If we were all waiting in a buffet line, he’d be first to the prime rib.

“Oh, there we go again.” She smiles and looks at me. “He’s cute too.”

We have an hour before we need to get off.

“Ok, so the mission is to get him that phone number before our stop.”

In what we thought at the time was a grand coincidence, he hands over his phone with a message, “Sorry what is your number”

Sasha and I giggle and she types back and hands him her phone with her number. Phones are being passed back and forth with guys we have now found out are police officers.

The guy next to me gets my number, the one that knows a little bit of English, enough to overhear that Sasha wanted his friend’s number.

We all start to chat, with the people we’re leanng over looking at us, an audience with their chairs turned sideways.

They helped us find our stop, and Sasha and I squeeze our way out just like the chipa lady. I find it easiest to walk on my tip-toes, so that my butt squeezes between the lower backs of the people on both sides. Back-butt-back is markedly more feasible than butt-butt-butt.

As the bus pulled away we waved. I review my birks, cargo pants, sweaty t-shirt get up and think I never thought I'd be picked up looking like this. Sasha says, as she does after flirting, “Don’t think I traveled all this way and forgot to pack my pimpin’ skills.”

That night Sasha’s guy sent her a message and mine sent me a message that said “Good afternom!” Between him and some others fellows I know around town my text message inbox is looking like a Spanish baby names book and I’m learning how to read textspeak in Spanish. Again, as my father would have said, “Trouble brewing.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Paulita, I was reading your blog, very funny by the way. I found your website through the global voices site where they also post something I wrote for the Blog Action Day campaign.

I also write a lot of things related to the Paraguayan culture from my point of view (I´m Paraguayan).

You use to practice Krav Maga!! I bought the book of Darren Levine from Amazon! Is not the same but at least I learned some basic moves. I hope someday we can have Krav Maga training schools here in Paraguay!

Well Paulita, I would like to invite you to read some of my post, www.osval.com is the URL of my website.