Sunday, April 17, 2011


The weather remains quite indifferent here in Exile-land.  The sun is trying to shine through the broken clouds this afternoon.  This may seem ordinary to you, but for us, clouds are a rarity.  Our skies have generally two conditions in the daylight:  hazy blue or heavily veiled (with dust and pollution).  On my first post I showed a photo of white ice-creamish  cumulus clouds building before a rare downpour.  You may not have realised how rare they were, or why I would bother taking a photo of them. 

One of my favourite opening lines, from a novel I read about 35 years ago, the title of which escapes me:  the sky was the colour of cold porridge.   (It was set in Spain and featured an elderly Rolls Royce, if any one can help me.)  This morning the sky was definitely porridge-like, shaking out fat drops of rain as I escorted Marius to his bus at 5.45.  I even wore a light rain jacket against the wet, although it was so humid when I took the jacket off the inside was as wet as the outside.   

I am famous and hated amongst the wives because of my early morning escort job  (the only reason they would know is because the husbands must report on my devotion).  They think I must get up and cook Marius breakfast and pack his lunch, but their estimations of my virtue are well beyond the mark.  I stumble out of bed and put my clothes on and sometimes I open the curtains downstairs, but that is the limit to my efforts.  We don't talk much - safer before 6 am, don't you agree?  We hold hands but that is more to keep me steady than romance.  No, it is romance too.  We always have a passionate goodbye kiss at the last corner, in front of the guards.  This is party motivated by a genuine feeling of farewell, and partly to thumb our joint noses as it were, at the authorities, because kissing in public is illegal. 

I walk the long way back home.  The jacaranda are flowering on a few front lawns:

We have a jacaranda on our footpath at home-home, so seeing them flower always gives me a bit of a wrench.

Then I turn the corner for the walk along the back of the golf course, where the peacocks live.  It is a bit grim, don't you think?

Along the way, I usually meet Ratty and LG, but they will have to wait for another day.

I am beseiged by workmen wanting to service the air conditioning units, the lights, and the supervisors checking up on the supervised.  There is a new maintenance contract in place, with a keen (and pleasant) manager.  Perhaps things will look up?



susan t. landry said...

i espec like the view of you as imagined by the other women; the good wife, the far better wife, who walks with her husband at such an ungodly early hour, a figure of envy, disdain... and then, to compound your sins, the passionate, forbidden kiss.

Tim Jones said...

Reading your latest few blog entries, the phrase "hardship assignment" occurred to me: the faraway place to which foreigners go because the pay is really good. They endure the privations, knowing that when they come back home they will have acquired their nest egg. The hardship asignment could be Siberia, or Antarctica, or Mars...

If it's not impolite to ask, does your current exile feel like a hardship assignment to you?