May 13th

Late yesterday afternoon, we walked into town and sat in a restaurant on the main street, watching the real life dramas of daily life unfold amongst the locals. Kids are out running, playing soccer or riding bikes. Young adults are strolling up and down, gathering in groups, flirting and chatting with each other. Moms are out with their strollers and little ones tag along. Shop keepers and restaunteers, with what seems to be a feud, fuel the fire and gossip flies up and down the street with factions taking sides. Dog owners seem to take pleasure when their dogs interact and a barking and growling match ensues. Little or no effort is made to curb their aggressions. Rock music from the 70s or other American music blares from some of the stores or restaurants.

Little, seemingly ancient people, diminished in stature by age, stroll down the street, way over-dressed in this heat in suites or black clothing, stockings and dour faces bringing to mind something from the movies. The women look like they are still in mourning for someone who may have passed away 20 years ago. The men all have a twinkle in their eye as they still gawk, along with every other male, irrespective of age, at each female they encounter.

People call out to each other as they pass by, and it is clear everyone knows each other and their story. We don’t understand a word they say, but the gestures and body language tell quite a story. We also note that we are being closely observed as well. I guess we provide entertainment for each other. Time flies by, and soon we have been sitting there for a few hours and it is now dark.

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