Out of the chosen quiet of my social life, every one in awhile a most pleasant flurry comes along to remind me that interacting with friends old and new is a very good thing for the soul, and the belly too. Like driving on the interstate after driving on Culebra, it doesn't take much to seem like very much. In the good way.
But, as Maria sang, let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.
The other day I stopped at the new 775 bar. Shadrak had asked me to come by and this was the time. I had a lot of preconceptions that needed bursting and quite a few of them did get burst, in one way or another. AND I got to test drive a hookah!
|First he showed me the 'smoke'. Not tobacco, but herbs, fruits and flowers.|
|This one is mint|
|Each patron gets their own tip. The whole thing is super sanitary.|
I watched, it really is a clean thing.
As the pieces and parts came together (see the black cubes on the one burner?) I tried to figure out what was what. I didn't quite figure it all out but it was obvious that Shadrak knew exactly what he was doing. He told me that the weekend before he'd had some good business but that right now he only has the one hookah. More will be in this week if all goes well.
|Gaming, television and a VIP room|
A by-itself hookah session NOT in the VIP room is 25.00 an hour, 15.00 for another fill up.
|More to come in a brighter setting|
|Out came the hookah. It's beautiful!|
The others will all look different, is what I gather.
|Those two burning cubes go on top of the bowl filled, this time, with mint.|
I can tell you this, it was good enough that I'd have one at home. The whole idea, Shadrak said, culturally, is to be with friends and relax. He knows he's taking a big chance in introducing something that, while not uncommon in many places in the world, is new here. But he also told me that he's had a number of tourist customers who are very used to this form of socializing and looking forward to the chance to enjoy what the 775 Bar has to offer.
Good luck, Shadrak! Thanks for the taste.
Things that happen on the way to the store...
Ok, back to wherever I was. Or onto.
I don't go out much and it seems like while I was in, a lot of people moved here and know each other well. Over a couple of days I met more people than I did in my whole trip across the country. Ok, not really but it felt like it. Especially since they all know each other well. I felt like a tourist, and that can be a good thing.
|Another view from the top|
After a conversationally intriguing dinnertime (meeting new people can be fun, she re-learns!), with chicken shwarma and kefta on the delicious menu (my personal universe keeping with the Moroccan theme started with the hookah) and dropping off new folks to me Neal and Darlene, Clive and I stopped at the food truck happening. There were a lot of happy eaters and some happy chefs too.
|Richard's Bambu BBQ|
|Yes, I asked her to sit on his lap, I just couldn't resist.|
|Check it out!|
|Carlos still smiling!|
|I don't know how so many golf carts could fit in there but they did|
This year it was a beautifully cooked pernil and chicken on the table. Along with some great sides. But truthfully, I never really got a photo of the food table because the music was too much fun.
|Lots of talent here!|
Apparently I'd met a couple of these people but they let me off the hook
that is was on a crowded night...or day. Or, they are just kind. Kind is good.
A highlight was meeting Molly's daughter. Because for many of us, our families are far away, we've heard a lot about each other's children and siblings, parents and favorite relatives. When one or more of them do show up it's like meeting a distant part of your own family; you've heard about them a lot but here they are!
In the midst of all of this gallivanting, I did notice a few things. One was the whrrrrrwrrrrrrwrrrrrrrrrr of the boat next to me that was leaving for home. Coming up I saw that a line was caught under their boat. One person seemed to appreciate the info, another did not. They got it clear eventually and no doubt will be happy to not see the houseboat there on their next time over. That's okay. One foot of separation is not enough for me either.
It's always fun to see the training ships come in. At least I'm guessing this is one of the two or three who show up around this time of year. That's about as big and as pretty as a ship should be to show up around here.
Have a musically motivated Monday. Do something more than middling.