Cooking and eating through a new culture

Third World Zen

Goodbye apartment in the shitty neighborhood. Hello house that needs to be gutted.

I am in the process of once again packing all my belongings and moving. Granted, this was part of the “plan” so I am tackling this with aplomb. My new kitchen is an empty room at the moment, but it is spacious and has a nice, sunny window overlooking the small front garden which will hold some tomato plants and variety of herbs. The design is straight forward. The biggest issues being hooking up the utilities. Rafa does have mad skills but he still has yet to master the time/space continuum of the universe (otherwise known as biting off more than he can chew.) I have been assured the electric will be set up very soon allowing the stove and dryer to function. I gently remind him of this, along with the huge black smear of soot near the old electric connection (good thing concrete houses don’t burn).

My other concern (deep breath) are insects. Ants and cockroaches to be specific. This is the tropics after all, and my biological background has more than prepared me for the insect hordes. That doesn’t stop me from squealing like a school girl at the sight of a five-inch long centipede in my bedroom. My wimpy little fly swatter did nothing to it other than have it rear up and basically flip me off. It was only dispatched by my mighty Doc Martins, completely impractical to wear here, but wonderful to crush exoskeletons. Unlike flip-flops which have no traction on the slippery tile floors allowing you to slide a good couple of feet on cockroach guts. Cockroaches are so big here that I can identify them by markings, like Broken Antenna, Black Butt and Bob. These guys give me enough time to acknowledge their existence but vaporize when I grab something large enough to throw at them. They apparently like to fuck with me while I am in the shower and when I am making coffee. Both, rather vulnerable times.

Ants, on the other hand, have the decency to stay out of my bedroom, but not out of my kitchen. They are some of my biggest cooking fans. They also have pavlovian sense when it comes to my meal preparation. The kitchen can be spotless and the moment I turn on the stove, the counter is covered with ants. They are tiny little suckers and I am resigned to the fact that they will always be part of my recipes.

My plan is to get in to the house this week to clean and do some proactive pest control. I want to assemble some idea of a kitchen, at least to cook basic meals. The sink may be in another room but I will be able to open the stove without relocating the fridge. Funny, how excited that is making me. We also need to set up our computer. I have been told internet is already available but who knows when we will get everything hooked up. Just wanted to give you guys a heads up…all three of you that read this.

I have been leaving piles of stuff to take over to the house for Rafa, breaking down the apartment a little at a time. Rafa came home for lunch today(raviolis and fresh, homemade sausage) and a second load. He told me the lumber and supplies were delivered for the little roof over our newly painted wall. All carefully deposited right where my kitchen will be.

Deep breath…


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5 thoughts on “Third World Zen

  1. Larry thormahlen on said:

    The sweet life has its insects doesn’t it. All in all the tropics are worth a few insectivorous problems.
    Cant wait to see you.

  2. Mark Von Kohler on said:

    Still freezing with snow on the ground in my back yard. Pool covered with ice. Yuk!
    Give me some pavlovian ants!

  3. Thriftz on said:

    This makes four readers!

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