After last week’s post, I figure I should probably write something upbeat. (Update from last week: antibiotics made a world of difference, so it was something I ate rather than anything viral, and rather than immediately overnighting the new card the bank apparently waited a few days to process my request and then sent it regular mail, so it hasn’t shown up yet. Still knocking on wood, and open to suggestions for a new credit card, frequent flier miles a plus. In the meantime, my debit/atm card is still working just fine – knock on more wood.) But right, cheerfulness: I got to spend Sunday snorkeling on a beautiful tropical island!
think he’s a little nuts, but some of the younger Chinese kids were collecting specimens which, it turns out, were destined for their aquarium at home. They ended up with a second lionfish, this one grey and white where the other had red stripes, a scorpionfish – also very poisonous, and I’m told also delicious – one mildly deformed brown seastar, a bright orange-and-teal seastar with the appropriate number of legs, a different brightly-colored shrimpy thing, and a weird, lumpy, brownish-grey and black banded tube-like creature with feathery tentacles at one end that looked like a cross between a sea snake and seaweed. Into the mix went too a handful of baby tropical fish, which I’m sure will be eaten by the lionfish in short order. I’m actually glad I couldn’t find the seahorse again when I tried to show it to Randy (before I knew about the kids and their bucket); somehow I prefer to see it left in the ocean.
|me & a seastar|
After a tofu & curry lunch I lay out a bit on the tarp in the shade, reading an Agatha Christie novel. I got totally sucked in by her when I read ‘Death on the Nile’ in the 5th grade, but I don’t think I’ve touched any of her stuff in probably the last ten years. Turns out her writing is perfect for relaxing after an exhausting day of elicitation and transcription, light and entertaining, and is available for cheap both as nice light paperbacks at the library booksale and for download to my Kindle. (Note to field linguists & other researchers: Pack a Kindle.)
|Renny & Rifky|
I tried to go swimming again after I’d digested a bit, but by that time church had let out and all the little kids in the village had swarmed down to the water, where they followed me around in packs wanting to talk to me and borrow my mask & snorkel. (That thing’s tempered glass for diving – no friggin’ way.) So I chatted a bit and taught them the difference between ‘mister’ (the default form of address for all westerners regardless of gender) and ‘miss’, and went to play frisbee with Renny instead. The Frisbee was a bright pink Yale-branded one I’d brought to give as a gift, since Frisbee appears not to exist here, and it now officially belongs to Rifky, who seems to like the color. At the end of the day I was thoroughly exhausted, mildly sunburned, and happily toting a camera full of fish pictures, which I’ll upload at some point when I’ve got them labeled and the internet’s feeling generous. There’s also one or two of me to prove I’m still alive and kicking, despite everything.
And also on the topic of cheerfulness: puppies! There was a litter born a week or two before I arrived, and they live in the kitchen and are adorable, except when they squeal at all hours of the morning. Nobody else seems to feel too strongly about them, and they all look at me like I’m crazy when I pick one up or pet them – ok, so they’re not the cleanest dogs ever, and there’s definitely little bugs living in their fur, but I wash my hands after – but at the end of a rough day, or any day really, there’s nothing quite like puppies. So that’s how I’ll end this post: puppies.