Yesterday afternoon, we went to the local shopping centre to buy a few groceries (this endeavour will be the subject of a future complaint ... ) and I took my camera with me specifically for you. I wanted to show a little of the environment so that you wouldn't think I was making it all up.
This is the outside of our compound. I am not allowed to photograph the security entrance, complete with chicanes, iron gates, vehicle blockers, security cameras and guards. In spite of this high presence of supervision, we have had problems with theft and burglary.
Note the veritable forest ...
I am not going to belabour the point.
We try to time our journeys to avoid the traffic. Partly because Marius does not like traffic, and partly because it is dangerous. We have one of the highest road fatality rates in the world. I took this picture through the front windscreen, on the way to the shops. It is not typical because there is no traffic and not much rubbish. Note the brightly coloured houses (there is a law regulating colour choice to various shades of beige) and the beautiful front lawns.
I don't know how they got away with the red gate - it is probably undercoat. The trees are hidden away behind walls, covered in dust. The coloured shrub past the gate is bougainvillea, which is a hardy vine that seems to survive the heat.
When we moved in to our house the yard consisted of rough grass and a couple of spindly bush/tree things. In order to compensate for the moon-like landscape outside, we dreamt of a hortus inclusus within. Now I understand the Biblical focus of paradise as an enclosed garden. We constructed a fountain (this is what happens with two engineers) to create a bubbling backdrop of sound, which is drowned out by the groan of air-conditioners, sadly; and planted bougainvilleas, jasmine, oleanders, hibiscus, ornamental grasses, papyrus and our arbus incognitus the 'tryffid tree'.
It is not quite Gardener's World, but it is a haven away from the rubble. In the early morning, I sit at the table and write, drink tea and commune with the cats. In another month or less, it will be too hot and too humid to sit outside at all.