Sunday, March 14, 2004

Day two 

Since my first morning here (only two days ago?!?), one of my favorite things to do is to watch the neighborhood wake up, as day's earlylight falls on the city. In the darkness, the sound of stray dogs barking and howling and growling as they make their morning rows, macho beasts that have no qualms napping in the middle of a busy road, often wounded or limping, invariably underfed and always beautiful. A solitary rooster welcomes the night's waning hours. The crows and pigeons and several magnificent hawks (which at first listen I vaguely mistook for seagulls, which seemed weird as we are well-inland) come awake as they claim their spots on rooftops and billboards and telephone wires, black shadows circling the greyblue skies. With a reluctant rumble and gasoline burps, the first buses start to arrive and depart. As day starts to breeak, the masses of garbage that covers the alleyway-wrappers from snacks and newspapers and losing lottery tickets and everything else that the stray dogs and cats deem unworthy of ingesting are cleared by the sweeper. A daunting task, but like clockwork he appears and in a whirl of red dust and quick flicks of the straw broom, the sweeper has quickly and efficiently ordered the chaos, creating smaller piles every few feet on either side of the alley. Later, someone else will come and transport these to a hand-held cart, yesterday with the help of a piece of cardboard, to be taken somewhere presumably to be consumed by fire. The whole process will be repeated tomorrow, as each day sees new accumulation of trash to be disposed of. Kinda like the universe, this small alley's garbage is forever destroyed and recreated and destroyed endlessly as by this evening the same garbage will have accumulated and by tomorrow the same sweepers will clear it. I have seen a single garbage can, here. People just dump stuff every which way. I had a tissue I held and held until finally, badlady that I am, I not-so-casually let it fall to the ground, joining a family of candy wrappeers and banana peels and magazine pages.

My favorite badlady moment, thus far, actually came on my first night here. More, later.

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