I’m leaving for the weekend today, so I’ll finish up this story before I endanger myself again and want to write about something else.
After 2 hours of sitting by the side of the road throwing rocks at walls and children, watching the same motoconchos shuttle people to the towns that we were in between, the host came back to take us to the ranch. By this time, my snack bag of almonds and pistachios had dwindled to nothing and I was starving. Getting back to the ranch, a very rich smell of some braised meat greeted me. I had found out in the morning that depending on how many people came to stay that night, we were either going to have one of their rabbits for dinner or cow leg. Possibly due to unfavorable weather conditions, nobody showed up. I
showered up hosed off and within fifteen minutes had a huge plate of steaming hot rice with two side bowls. One was the typical red kidney beans, and the other was pulled and spiced beef. Needless to say, I housed it. There was still something on the stove and my hosts told me to come back ‘ahorita’ (see below for what that means) to try it out. I went back to my quiet room, read more of the Gatsby (thoughts on that here), and came back in an hour and a half. The second dinner was a stew called ‘cocido’ with the main ingredient being the marrow of the cow bone. It kind of had the same color and consistency as fat from a steak or chicken, but was much more flavorful. Also, there was a surprising spicy (finally) kick to the whole dish, and had a side of boiled green bananas. Muy rica.
Returning to my room for the night in the quiet ranch, I started polishing off the book just as the rains started hitting hard. When it rains here, it rains hard enough for all creatures to try to find a Noah’s ark to get respite, great and small. Unfortunately, mosquitoes are included in the definition, and I had to keep my ark open due to the heat of the place. I don’t think it would have mattered anyways, it’s not like my room or the building was airtight between the walls and tin roof.
I’m perfectly fine with getting bit by mosquitoes or being in an area where I know they hang out. The problem or convulsion I have is seeing them. I just start seeing red and have the need to kill kill kill them. My biggest peeves are mosquitoes, moths, and flies. If I can, I get a t-shirt or a towel and start smacking them around a bit, just enough to make them
cry decorate the wall with their insides. Here, I was defeated. I was reading as a lone mosquito crossed my torso, and I smacked myself so hard it left a mark. I missed, and then got angry. After hitting myself and clapping my hands a few times, I finally stopped looking like an idiot killed it with my palms. Then I saw another and went after it. Then I saw two more. Then ten more. The increasing rain intensity was the perfect background music for the sudden influx of lazy mosquitoes and convulsive moths in my room. As you can expect, this was extremely frustrating. Surprisingly, the moths are the easy ones to kill. But after destroying two or three I conceded that it was futile to continue. Dousing my body with Off! and getting ready for bed, I just turned off the lights and got under the sheet, ignoring the monsters above my bed. When I can’t see them, all is fine and I slept like a rock. It really is just seeing them.
Time to close this baby out. The next day I woke up, finished the last chapter of the unsatisfying book where luckily a couple of the characters die (is it a good or bad sign that you don’t feel compassion for the protagonist?), and took my time getting ready to leave. I had another breakfast of eggs and butter, and was driven to the nearby guagua station, which would take me to the Tareabus station. This ride was much less harrowing than the motoconcho, and only cost 35 pesos. This driver actually listened to me when I asked to be taken there, and politely stopped and directed me further when it was the best time for me to get off and walk to the station. The Tareabus cost 140 pesos to get back to Santo Domingo (less than the 3 hour local bus on the way there), and took a little over an hour and a half. Something funny about the buses is that they play Dominican pop music the whole way, at a not-low volume level. I got back to the apartment at a reasonable time in the early afternoon, and so concluded my trip to Bonao.
Reading: The Stranger, Travesía
Dominicanismo: Ahorita – Soon, later, eventually, in an hour, tomorrow, 5 minutes