Travel Haiku...a very good friend of mine suggested I write a book. "The Chai Chronicles", he called it. I like that idea. Thank you , LD..... Do not be surprised if all of these postings change...they are a WIP after all. This post for instance needs to be made into a proper haibun. AND that will take some work.
oriental market smelling the chai of my travels
iced tea on cool marble steps my bare feet
terracotta tiles chai with the sent of fried fish
Where else but Italy and Spain? I will comment later.
my guide under the flame tree stirring chai
wet buskers across the Hapenny bridge hot tea
I was looking at some old photographs last night and it brought back many memories. I am going to write a series on "tea" and all the places in the world I have enjoyed it. Teas seems to be the one constant in all my travels, so it made sense to me.
The first Haiku is about a trip to Kenya I took when I was 17. I will never forget those trees...it's hard not to fall in love with Africa. I had a guide, an older Swahili gentleman who was so dignified. We sat in the shade under a flame tree and he made tea. At the time, I didn't realize just how much of an honor that was, how poor he was and his "sharing" with me, was truly a gift. In Africa, they drink a lot of their meals. That drink is Chai. Made with 50% water, 50% milk and a good dose of sugar, for those that can afford it. They steep the loose leaves in the just boiled mixture, stirring for a few minutes and then strain the lot. It's unfortunate I was so young, stupid and as green as I was. I never realized just what a moment it was and how fortunate I was to be there. I took a lot for granted back then.
The second Haiku is about Dublin. I used to live there and I loved the place. It was the first place I actually heard the term "buskers". I had seen them in Paris, Rome, Munich and many other places, but no one had ever told me they had a name for street performers. It seemed to be drizzling all the time in Dublin and always on the chilly side. I used to walk from my house on the north side of Dublin, across the Hapenny Bridge, past the buskers, who I always gave something to, even though there were some extremely lean times in Dublin, to Bewleys to buy tea. It was the one and only luxury I could afford. Bewley's tea. I still drink it, only it's now the decaf I drink. I have it shipped from Dublin, twice a year. How times have changed.
We had a fire and then a flood in the house in Texas last week. The flood actually put out the fire. AMAZING. A pencil lead sized hole in the pvc water pipe in the attic. I am astounded. If you could see the fire damage, you would understand. Anyway, the house (over 50 yrs old) a long ranch style that is huge and could easily be a duplex (there are two kitchens, living rooms, three bedrooms in each end, three bathrooms) is going to be half replaced. The north end of the house will get a new living room, dining room, kitchen, hallway and two new bedrooms. The entire roof will be replaced on the whole house. What a mess. I am here for the next two weeks before I head out to the middle east. I thought to relax with my daughter and just chill out. Instead, we will be trying to restore some order and get things repaired. No one was hurt, nothing of great value was lost. We are thankful.
breakfast we laugh at the burnt bacon
overcast skies on Thanksgiving day more smoke smell
scorching day from the attic fire forgotten memories
Thanksgiving day picking through old photographs
thanksgiving sunset the deflated soccer ball still kicked between us
drizzle a ball in the yard deflated
dreary old shed deep in the rubble the missing bracelet
My dear friends. There were parties for me all over the Keys in the last weeks. It was a humbling experience, seeing how many friends I have and how wonderful they all are. From breakfasts to dinners (and all excuses in between to gather together and eat, drink and be merry) and for 7 days and nights in a row....I was amazed.
My Full Moon Kayak bunch, launched the war canoe at sunset on my last night in the Keys. We paddled out into Blackwater Sound to watch the sunset and sing in a new adventure for all of us.
I was delighted. How could anyone ask for a better going away present than to have all your friends together, sharing songs and memories, good food and wine and a fire out under the stars? It was a wonderful evening.
last sunset the war canoe with paddles up
evening cloud cover through ragged holes the last sunbeams
OK so sue me, I edited and saved some posts because they were unorganized (LOL...shut up, I know my head is) and I will try to be a bit more concise and get my act together.
sudden downpour the paper shredder burns out
I am getting a cold, I think. I have a sore throat...maybe because I was drinking and ended up sleeping with my big mouth hanging open all night mumbling things like "murphh, murphh...humphft"...and slobbering on myself. Ok...that's horse manure. I wasn't drinking, I was just slobbering. I've been stressed, cut me some slack. I quit working last week and was in work today. As well as a few other days....what a loser. I still have to pack.
sudden rain through the window a lost view
OKOKOK...I'll get over leaving.... as soon as I do. A few more days of tragedy...LOL Let's put it this way, it's very appropriate that it's pissing down rain this afternoon.
I probably shouldn't post while drinking.....it makes me wax melancholy... melon collie...I get a visual. Probably not a good thing. AND thank god there is spell check.
hazy moon pen and paper what's with THAT ink?
OK....so, last Thursday I had planned to go to work (because I am anal..Tuesday was my last day) and make sure that the wedding party I had booked went off as planned...AND then the plan was to sit in the tiki bar and drink with my cute friends and other buddies. Before I was done, everyone I wanted to drink with had gone home.
muddy sky no clouds or stars
I don't know what's going on. I live with a guy...a few of them (not what you are thinking you bunch of pervs) They were ALL being a huge pain in the ass the other night. The boyfriend crashed at 8pm, the kiddo was whinnier than usual, the dogs were snoring and passing gas that would peel the paint off the walls, my Dad wasn't into babysitting so I could go back out, my brother was a no show and I sat on the couch and ate Utzs rods and drank myself into a vino induced stupor. OK, so I'm a light weight and that only took two glasses....but still.
wine moon not just the sofa warmed
sidebar...I had to put my GD brace on because my freaking ribs are hurting...Doc told me not to go back to work.... and I am a workaholic and have been at work every day this week.
So why am I drinking alone? Because I'm pathetic....lol
Wehhhh hell....I 'm drinking because I am leaving and I have a few pangs about it. Maybe I don't know what I want. Perhaps because it's beautiful in the Keys right now and this is the best time to be here.
Everglades tour the spoonbills squawk at our approach
white pelicans against the blue sky a vapor trail
osprey nest a tourist leans out over the bridge
outstretched cormorant my fingers filter the sunlight
my toes dip over the bow two dolphin
mangrove shade a crab spider eats it's mate
wood storks through the camera lens me and mike
red mangroves guiding the boat into the shade
I am cooking Thanksgiving dinner (first time in about 6 years...I have a chef, remember) for a crowd. I am a DAMN GREAT cook who used to love to cooking for crowds. I will not be able to do that again for a few more years.
family heirlooms the scent of pumpkin from the kitchen
I had something to say...really I did. OH yes! Now I remember...
Last night I had to make a trip to Miami...yes, that dreaded physcho city of shitty (gumball machine drivers license getting) motorists. All of whom gesture a lot with their horns and hands...and speak in every language but English.
I am going to work in the middle east and because of the recent pranks of a few lunatics at NASA, anyone now even remotely close to working for or with the government has to take a WABI test. Now I could make jokes about what WABI stands for...but I'm busy and in a hurry and now my poor brain is taxed form the Miami experience. I also had to go buy a pair of ho-bag shoes at DSW....you can't go to Miami in crocs...it's just not done.
The test took place on the roof in a parking garage and was supposed to determine if I was nuts or not. A computerized nut case check on a roof in a parking garage...WTF? I kid you not!
The test was supposed to take 90 minutes and consisted of 131 questions. Silly stuff about driving (like I'm gonna say I drive like Mario Andretti on a bad day) and being a team player (is there an I in team , because I am so incredibly self absorbed) and if I scream and throw temper tantrums when I am frustrated (only sexually...not at work....unless...well never mind that's a whole nuther story) and if I hold a grudge (huh? they should have asked my ex-fre^&ing husband). I was outta there in 20 minutes with a "passed and welcome to your next step in processing...read that as...the unrelenting and never ending form filling out that you have to do in order to make a buck around here".
Now I have to laugh because several of my friends said (when they heard I was going and had to take a sanity test) "Ha ha...you won't be going anywhere, you're nuts" . I think that's why I did so well on the test. I am nuts.
I was nine. We were on the way to the airport to pick up my grandmother who was coming for Christmas. It was rush hour. The traffic was heavy and I thought at the time, fast. I was sitting in the back seat with my brothers and up ahead, I saw a small dog in the median. I knew immediately that he was going to make a dash for it and that he wouldn't make it. I screamed for my Dad to stop the car. As he slowed, the dog was hit by the car in front of us. He flipped high in the air landing on his back. With his legs flailing, he tried to get up and out of the way of oncoming traffic. There was blood on the road. I started to cry and begged my parents to stop the car so we could help. My father said we couldn't. My Mother told me the dog would be dead by then. My brothers laughed as I cried harder. And then, my mother laughed as she told me I was being really silly. That made my brothers go into convulsive gasps and dying dog displays of flailing arms and legs. I remember looking back and seeing him struggling and attempting to get up several more times and I vowed never to cry again in front of anyone. So far, so good.
No one reads this...hehehe...does that mean I can say what ever the fuck I want? Well...hell no, because one of my friends, someday, somewhere will ask me for the link (some already have) and I will give it to them. So much for being anonymous. AND then they will read all the shit that is in my head, and they will be afraid. AND know how weird I truly am.
I am leaving the Keys on Nov 17th. I don't know quite what to say. I am moving to the middle east. I used to live in Saudi, so it's no big deal for me. I spent close to ten years living the expat lifestyle and it suited me. Right now, there are mixed emotions. The weather here has turned and it is WONDERFUL. The reason I moved here (in part) but these are the kinds of days that we live for in the keys. Sky's of endless blue. Gentle sweet smells on the soft island breezes....ahhh. Warm sand between the toes, Cuban coffee and toast for breakfast.
sand pipers washed up in the waves a child's pail
The weekend has been fantastic. I was taken out to breakfast yesterday by my friend Big Red, she picked me up in her convertible (picture it, a blond and a red head in a convertible driving around the keys!) and we went for a small cruise. Small because I am in pain.
blue sky the bobbing heads in a caddy
Yesterday was my birthday. I spent most of it at home dizzy. LOL...morphine. Today I am in more pain, rather put up with the pain then the dizzy, sick, queasy feeling. I have three cracked ribs and torn cartilage between them! Yes...nice. My first trip to fantasy fest and I come back broken.
naked people does anyone own a mirror?
I was minding my own business (and SOBER damn it because I was a designated driver!) watching the parade when a drunk guy fell on me. Not just fell, lost his balance, tried to compensate and hit me head on like a linebacker, throwing me 3 feet in the air and into a concrete wall behind me. I had the wind knocked out of me, scrapped and bruised my back and fractured my ribs. Ahhh, if I had been drunk, I'd probably be OK. LOL. My ear has blood in it also...nice. I am fine. Really. Everyone was like "Did you call the police?" Folks...it was fantasy fest, people get drunk, it was an accident, the guy felt so bad....BUT...it was an accident. AND accidents happen, even to the sober people.
cigars and beads spilled on the sidewalk fantasy fest
I got a little pissy yesterday also. None of my guy friends wished me a happy birthday. Not one. I was amazed and a little shocked. Not one of them. I have several. Not one....I'm sounding like a broken record here. Not one of the fuckers. All my girlfriends, GOD BLESS THEM ALL!!! sent me emails, called me from Brazil, Ireland, Iraq all over the US and the world. Sent me cards and flowers and took me to breakfast, asked me to dinner.....and not one of the lousy fuckers that I have slept with and even the ones I haven't slept with (so, I can't blame it on bad sex) said boo. What's up with that shit? Being a lesbian is starting to look very attractive. OK, that's a lie, I love men.
raging fire too many candles on my cake
So guys, if you read this, buck up...call, send a card, an email, take me to dinner, lunch, breakfast, buy me a freaking cup of coffee for god's sake...redeem yourselves!!! Don't let me lose faith in y'all on my way outta town.