Monday, September 30, 2013

Anecdotes From Abroad

I'm starting a new series, for those random little stories I've never told but that still make me laugh, or shudder or wonder. Enjoy! 

My host family's house in the country of Georgia had a balcony sort of thing - concrete steps led up another bit of concrete that jutted out from the second story. It often held corn drying in the sun and it had the much coveted clothes line, the one that was somewhat protected from the elements by an awning.

I hadn't packed much when I went to Georgia - a whole suitcase less than most people. I was told Georgians re-wore their clothes, often the exact same outfit for a few days (which is true). I was told they wouldn't care what you wore (not true) and that they didn't like bright colors (also not true). I had to do laundry a lot to try to look half-way decent. My host family had a washer (such wonders! fast forward to the DR where I washed everything in a bucket...) and then I would hang my clothes out to dry. I enjoyed this little chore, feeling more adult than when they wouldn't even let me wash my plate.

Past of the clothes line on the balcony hung over our neighbor's yard. For a long time I thought the old woman who lived there was my grandmother, because she was in our house so often and entered at odd hours without knocking. I also thought she was kinda mean, since she yelled at me and sometimes hit me with her cane. The first thought was wrong (no relation), the second was right (I could see the disappointment  in her eyes...). She also had a son, who I wrote about way back when. The mysterious and silent Zaza, who walked by with bags of grass for no reason I could ever figure out since he didn't own any live-stock except chickens. Bedding?

But back to the clothes line - it hung over their yard and I sometimes chuckled as I clothes pinned my undies and socks to that corner (since it was a weaker corner of the line - light stuff!). How silly if my underwear fell into their yard!

But then one day, I came to get said undies, and they were gone. Sure enough, they had fallen into the neighbor's yard, the shadowy, muddy dwelling place of silent men and cane-wielding grannies. Oh, what to do?!

I crept down to the gate that divided our yard and eased it open, making sure not to let any chickens out. As quietly as possible I picked up the fallen, brightly colored under-things. One of them was a little too far for me to reach, having fallen behind some sort of shed. I reached my arm, jumping at every noise, I thought I heard someone approaching, I reached harder, grabbed my now filthy panties and bolted out of there. I and my lady briefs were safe!

And all was well.

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