Still Sunday. This place of right-leaning coconut place is entirely too hot for my liking. Post her Methodist church service, my grandmother has settled into her favourite, albeit, hideous, red chair. She is reading the newspaper, which of course, my grandfather has read, first. My grandfather is at his desk writing a letter. Both of my grandparents seem otherwise occupied and not at all interested in entertaining me. At all. I am not impressed. I make a mental note to go visit my other grandmother-and soon.
I then make a series of oral declarations to both of my grandparents. However, to them, it might sound as though I am complaining. I tell them that I am bored silly, hot and hungry. My grandmother looks up from her newspaper and says, ‘but you just eat. You got tapeworm?’ My grandmother knows that I most certainly do not have a tapeworm, but this is her way of asking ‘why-having just had lunch, are you still hungry?’ I cast my eyes on my grandmother, raise my eyebrows and purse my lips. My grandmother responds with her own non-verbal cue which, if translatable would say: ‘Don’t look at me like that. If you are hungry-then go and eat something.’ Of course my grandmother does not utter these words, but rather, the sentiment is conveyed in her own non-verbal cue of raised eyebrows and pursed lips. My grandfather ignores our exchange and continues to write his letter, while at his desk.
A few moments later, I head to my room and change my clothes. Essentially, I have changed out of my ‘house clothes’ and into some ‘decent’ clothes. I need to look well groomed and generally taken care of, if I am to go and visit my other grandmother. There are entirely too many rules in this house. I should be able to wear what I want, where I want and how I want. But, no.
Shortly after, I tell my grandmother that I am going to visit my other grandmother. My grandmother nods her understanding and approval. My grandfather puts his pen down, lifts his head up and says the following to me: “Must walk good. Yuh hear?” This is followed by, “Don’t let car knock you down” and then he ends with: “Must send my regards to your Grandmother.” Sheesh! so much to remember, but I nod my understanding and quickly trundle down the 14 wooden stairs leading to the door. But before leaving, I give my grandparents each a quick kiss on their cheeks and shout, “Ok, bye. I’m off. See you!”
When I reach my grandmother’s house on Graham Street, there are of course, boys on her bridge, which spans the trench, in front of her house- leading to the front of her house- which is decorated by a plethora of fruit trees…but no apple trees. The boys are fishing for fish that they will probably not catch.
I run up the wooden stairs leading to my grandmother’s front French doors, but before I knock, she opens the door both slowly and deliberately. She must have seen me coming down the road. I hope she didn’t see me talking to that brown and white cow on the road (or I shall be gently scolded for doing so). As our eyes meet, I say: ‘Hi Granny-how are you?-Grandma says hi-it is so hot-I am hungry-I am also thirsty-do you have any salara?’ Everything I want to say, and should probably say in separate sentences, comes out instead, in one jumbled run on sentence. My grandmother smiles gently and says, ‘Come and eat. And res’ yuh mouth.’ My grandmother has essentially told me that she will feed me on the condition that I stop talking. I am not impressed with my grandmother’s response to me, but I am hungry so I do not protest.
As it is Sunday. It means that soup is on the menu. As my grandmother makes her way into the kitchen I take my usual place at the table and wait in eager anticipation to see what is on the menu. My grandmother probably knows that I have already eaten. My other grandparents are not exactly going to send me over to my other grandmother’s house, hungry. No way. My grandmother knows that I like to eat. I am pleased she does not question me regarding what I have eaten earlier in the day. Anyway, I ate that bora, mince, boiled potatoes and rice ages ago. Ok, maybe 2 hours before, but nonetheless-I am starving right now!
My grandmother has made crab soup! It smells amazing. I am ready to eat more than my stomach can hold. I sure am.
The crab soup my grandmother has made is delicious. She watches me eat in her usual silence. Most likely, she has eaten earlier. After soup, there is dessert. There is always dessert. My grandmother takes my bowl away, there is not a trace of crab soup left. She then brings me some salara. Salara is one of my favourite things to eat. It is a doughy, sweet, coconut bread. The coconut is dyed red. I have no idea why-but I do know that the red is from red food colouring. I am not sure if my grandmother has made the salara or not-as I am so busy eating it, I forget to ask if she has indeed made it. The salara is so good that I eat two pieces.
Am feeling full now and full up with crab soup and salara. I make my way into the veranda to catch some breeze as my grandmother washes up my dishes. She later joins me in the veranda. As usual, I do all the talking and my grandmother does all the listening.