The woman had finished cooking and took me to the kitchen table where four plates had food on them. She reached for another plate from the rack above the sink and with the spoon took pieces from each of the four plates.
“ I thought you were coming tomorrow,” she said. “I am afraid we are a little disorganised at the moment.” Then as she gave me a place at the dining room table and brought some cold drink she added, “I’m afraid I am not a very good cook.”
All sorts of thoughts were racing through my mind. I was embarrassed to have caught her unprepared, but grateful that she had taken me in. The Jamaican food I had eaten so far had always been very good, but she wasn’t being polite, she really couldn’t cook well. The huge piece of Jamaican yam was solid, pure starch, my mouth glued shut. The pumpkin had boiled until water logged and stringy. I had to say I wasn’t very hungry, but that the fruit and cold drink were very refreshing
She wasn’t the type for social chit-chat, so I had phrases at intervals, unemotional facts, all very under stated.
From what I could glean her son would be home soon, but there was a problem as he wanted to get married to a certain young girl and her family were not happy about it. As they were part of the extended family this was putting pressure on all relationships. Adele was part of the family, a niece of some sort. They were trying to sort out the problem.
It was getting cooler and I really needed a shower. Apparently Adele had arrived, she was moving around in another room. She came in to say good evening and to ask whether she needed to put up a mosquito net. I said it wasn’t necessary, that I didn’t use one on the campus, but fortunately they over rode my protestations, the insects could be vicious in the country night.
I still needed a shower. My hostess showed me the bathroom and I was already realising that the house was much bigger and more organised than the backyard suggested, tardis like.
I looked around the bathroom, blue painted plaster concrete, a large shower area, loo and wash hand basin. A long, fairly narrow room, quite gloomy by now. I looked again at the shower. I had grown accustomed to experimenting with different systems in different bathrooms, but I couldn’t work this one out. I couldn’t see buttons, pulleys, levers, handles, taps, dials, anything. I pondered for awhile and then thought I’d use the wash basin instead. I could at least wash my feet properly.
Ohh oh where angels fear to tread…