Sunday, May 04, 2008

Friday is...

... the call to prayer.

... the hum, the murmur, the humble din of beggars outside a mosque.

... noble men in caps and robes.

... statuesque women in their Friday Africana, stunning from their elaborate head scarves to their pointed heels, wrapped in eye-dazzling color, texture, and pattern.

... walking through the crowded East-End streets en route to the Children's Hospital, dodging motorized poda-podas and hand-drawn omalankis, the former packed tight with bodies, the latter piled high with goods. Tip-toeing through sludge and garbage and over open gutters, ducking under panbodi zinc and 10-foot wooden poles carried recklessly atop the heads of quick-moving bodies. Sweating and sweating and sweating under the searing mid-day sun.

... walking back through markets teeming with Friday salesmanship: a wall of vendors flooding the streets, channeling pedestrian commuters through a narrow gauntlet of flashing goods and shouted prices. A bit of cardboard hung with cheap gold-painted earrings; a basin of ice-cold water packed in plastic bags; a woman’s skirt (slightly used) for $0.30; a hundred metal spoons jangled to grab attention; an armful of fake designer sunglasses; a sequined handbag; a pickled pig’s foot; a live chicken.

... suffocating traffic, where the crippled man with legs twisted from polio pulling himself along on his hands and knees moves faster than you in your car.

... a cold shower to wash off the day.

.... a beer at sunset at Ramadas Beach Bar, with the hills of the city behind and the waves before you, and your bare feet buried in the sand.

No comments: