This is Bistek al la Mexicana a common dish found many places. There are several places I get this some better than others but all real decent! Kind of a tomato based sauce with generally pretty tender pieces of beef and a fair amount of it. The rice is pretty generic but the frijoles can be something else. This also includes as many fresh made in front of you tortillas you want and brought to you with a smile. Something like this costs around 50-60 pesos or $3. The squeezed as you watch orange juice is 20 and brings the price up a bit but worth it. Nothing in the States I've ever had compares to this not even close plus it'll cost 7-10 smacks. I don't know what I'm going to eat when I return. It will be an adjustment as I do this so much that is go into Puerto Vallarta on the south side and have me a excellent lunch with "real" Mexican food not the slop I get back there. I do not plan on eating out much at all only at maybe three select places. Pricey yes but worth it because it's so good. I threw away so much money last summer eating way overpriced shitty food. Several times the food got thrown away as well. The whole of Mexico is an eating machine I tell you. I'm gonna miss this.

I feel good and and think the higher temps and humidity contributes to that. It's the same every time. After a month or two you realize and say " Hey I feel pretty damn good!"

Just as important I believe the food made fresh with wholesome fresh ingredients as well contributes to that. Get off the bus in town the food smells everywhere make me hungry just like that.


The Spirit Lived Or What?

When I was four or five I got caught stealing pop bottles for the three cent deposit to buy candy. I lied the best I knew how but it didn't work.

I snuck out of the house late one summer night when the rest of the family was asleep just to see what was going on. My mom was on to that fairly quickly and caught me riding my bike at about two in the morning. I lied and told her I was troubled and was at church praying. It worked but without question it was a one-shot deal.

I lied like a rug sitting in the front of the judge at 11 o'clock at night explaining to him that I wasn't drunk and didn't need to spend the night in jail even though I was seeing at least two of him. It worked.

Those lying days are long since over and it's all part of growing up I guess because I just don't do it anymore and because of that it causes complications and I actually should lie a bit more and I would be better off probably but that's not what we're here for. I want to tell the story about an interaction with something that I don't know what exactly it was but here we go. The pictures are for reference only and are very poor and are meant to show the place that it happened.

Where I lived when I first arrived in Ghana West Africa was a town called Juapong but on the old maps it was spelled Jompong. These bungalows were built to house the workers for the textile mills run by the Chinese. I and another Peace Corps volunteer just happened to be housed in one one of these.

I include this picture to illustrate there was a gate and a open area behind the house where there was another row of bungalows. I lived in this place for about six months. The material/rift raft that was between these buildings was unlike anything I had seen in my lifetime and that includes up till now. It was the most ungodly pieces of rock I've ever seen. I only went back there a couple times and that was only a foot or so behind the gate that you see. You just couldn't walk on this stuff. Nobody went back there and the only thing seen would be a few goats and a chicken now and then.

On a very hot completely still humid night just couldn't get to sleep. I was the only one home and when people go to sleep even though there are quite a few around it can be very quiet as it was this night. My bed was in the corner next to a wall and there was a window above high in the corner on the other side of the room for ventilation purposes only. That window and where my head pointed were on the same wall.

In any case couldn't get to sleep you know it's just one of those things. I start hearing something and it was like I say it was very still. Not very often but faint and it kind of sounded like breathing. So what I'm hearing gets a little bit louder definitely sounds like breathing and it seems to be coming from outside. So this sound continues to get a bit louder and it is breathing without question. And it is coming from outside and it is coming from the direction of that window that's in the corner at least that what it seems like.

So by now I'm starting to think because after all I was awake and this seemed to be a bit odd. And not to get old but it got louder and became faster and I'm thinking what the hell is going on here. I'm thinking real hard, I mean real hard because I know for a fact without question not a doubt in my mind that something or someone could not be moving around outside getting closer without making noises maneuvering or attempting to maneuver in the dark over these killer stones. You must know when it gets dead still at times how well noises can be heard and this was one of those times.

So to wind this up here with the time frame right at 15 minutes overall the breathing is getting really loud- faster and deeper and it sounds like whatever it maybe is right up there in that window not too far away. By now I'm a bit worried/scared and I'm just laying there going eeeeeeee. This was very intense I tell you. So I'm laying there and all the sudden I am pushed up from underneath the bed approximately in the middle of my back and raised up at least five or 6 inches quickly but not leaving the mattress. It was a quick up and then down.

Wow and I mean double wow! It was a sense of relief and the noise that sounded like breathing stopped just like that and it became very quiet once again.

I do not have a clue what happened and over the years really have not told the story that many times. It just happened and had no profound effects on me at least from what I can tell anyway. It just happened what the hell!

I took this picture a bit later a few miles away where I lived for about six months in a old cocoa plantation house on the Volta River. Whatever this is in the picture one thing is for certain when seen with the naked eye and not with a picture of a picture that is over 30 years old that it wasn't right and has absolutely nothing to do with the previous story.

A story told to me by a Ghanaian man educated with a doctorate in education about his father who was supposed to be dead but would not die. The details have been mostly forgotten about the specifics but I do remember that when a ceremony by the local Asafo Company was performed his father passed on. I just happen to trust and believe what this person told me and it's worth no more than that.

I did this because a reader hinted at me twice about wanting to hear stories from Africa. I don't have a lot of them but this definitely is one of them and I'm glad to do this. Another I want to do is on the Krobo's. For all I know they may have had a hand in all this. These guys are some nasty bastards indeed! For instance the poor fellow who couldn't get a lorry out of Kpong back to his village and it was getting dark. A local chief had just died and heads were being taken. This man was scared.

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes, if you live long enough, things are experienced that cannot be explained by using logic. If you are secure enough in your own thinking, that's what it is, something that cannot be explained.

    Thanks for the story Fly.