Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Art of Tomato Purchasing

There is a very definite art and skill in buying tomatoes on the island. For the imported tomatoes, you have to time it quite precisely. You have to know exactly when they will be unpacking their fresh produce, and then on that day, you have to get to the shop at exactly the right time. Five minutes too early, and you’ll never know that the tomatoes are about to be on display. Five minutes too late, and you’ve lost your chance. They get picked up almost as soon as they’re out, like ladies of the night. For local tomatoes, you still have to know when to get them. You can’t just go to the market any time and buy some…it has to be on the right day, and before the crowds. Even then, you’re lucky to get them red. It’s kind of annoying. Also, the tomatoes from Cape Town, of which I bought three, were on the riper side of ready when they got here, so are mostly too soft. But that’s just one of those island things…

Yesterday there was a squid outside the church. I kid you not. When the boys came and told me they had seen one, I thought they must have been mistaken, but there it was. About 15 cm long, very dead, and rather disgusting. One ant-covered tentacle was lying next to it. We can only imagine that a fairy tern must have caught it, and then dropped it when it flew to our bell tower, where they like to congregate.

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