Wednesday, January 23, 2013
A Foggy Day...
January is always an interesting time out here in the Sandlands. We're now in the midst of the brief, sudden Not Hot season, when for a few weeks we get just a touch of what it's like to go outside without flinching. This morning, for example, was downright chilly by local standards (all the way down to 60 degrees or so Fahrenheit) and featured what was, I believe, the thickest fog I've ever seen.
Above is a snap of the Villa Muscato's little front pocket garden, taken this morning from the second-floor sitting room window. Over there, beyond the bougainvilleas where there are just some ghostly streetlights, ought to be a moderately busy street, a parking lot, and the tantalizing park across from us (a constant annoyance, as it's open only to women and children, and very definitely not to dogs, which means that not only can we not make use of its broad paths and pleasant greenery, but neither can Mrs. Galapatti-da Silva use it to walk Koko and Boudi). It stayed dark for what seemed an inordinate time, and such was the sheer density and almost sentient resolve of this fog that, at 6:00 a.m. or so when I first opened the front door to push out the dogs and pull in the morning papers, wisps and tendrils of it slunk into the front hall, and when I reached the front gate, the open door not thirty feet behind me gleamed palely, suddenly seeming a very long way off.
While we enjoy the change of pace these few weeks bring, we do dread the foggy mornings, for second only to the even rarer rainy mornings, they bring out the very worst in local drivers. This was much on my mind today, as I had to head to meetings about two hours out of town, and I just knew the roads would be littered (sometimes quite literally) by drivers who thought the only appropriate response to having visibility of something like four yards is to go as fast as possible. Perhaps they think that if they speed sufficiently, the fog won't notice them (a process aided, I suppose, by the constant weaving from lane to lane); perhaps they think that they can outrun it. Perhaps they're simply not very bright; I don't know. I just know that I am grateful for the extraordinary skill and even more more outstanding patience of our office drivers, who manage to remain wholly unfazed even when totally surrounded by hordes of the single greatest menace on Sandlandian roads: Lexus drivers. I don't know what it is about this specific brand - at heart, after all, not much more than over-blinged Toyotas - but it universally brings out a level of terrible road-safety approached only by local teens in Dad's Maserati (itself a remarkably common phenomenon out here).
Fortunately, by the time we were returning to the capital, the fog had lifted and the usual midwinter sun had returned. It would have seemed quite cheerful, if not for the fact that this afternoon not only I, but both the dogs had dental appointments. As a result, we are having a quiet evening, one in which Mr. Muscato is showing remarkable restraint, not mocking our aching gums by eating especially tough, crispy, or crunchy foods. Instead, we had a supper of one of Mrs. G-da S's excellent soups, and I plan to slowly fade in a pleasant haze of Pinot Gri.
We are entering yet another long weekend, the very last of the long string of local and international holidays (which some years can mean we scarcely have a full week of work from mid-October on); ahead lies the long slog to summer and yet another Ramadan. With luck, before the weekend's over, while we won't be having taffy or peanut brittle, Koko, Boudi, and I will be restored to something like dental health. If nothing else, I'm pleased to think that at least for the next three days, I can enjoy the foggy mornings without having to dread the commute. Soon enough, the cool will be a fading memory, and we'll be back to the usual round of hot, hotter, hottest, so this is no small thing...