27 October 2010

The Good, The Bad, and the Gorgeous

I forgot to mention in my last post that when in St. Paul's parish on Saturday, I myself finally got to go Dung By Betty for a late dinner.  And it lived up to the hype – it's hard to beat the warmth and filling sensation from the heap of carbohydrates in a satisfying platter of chicken and chips.  (That's, of course, fried chicken legs and french fries with cane sugar ketchup.)  So that might have to happen again, whenever I'm on that end of the island on a weekend.

Tuesday was its own story, a deluge of frustrations, glories, disappointments, and surprises.  It all started with a vain attempt to install a wireless cable modem in my apartment, a two hour exercise in futility.  Somewhere between the technician arriving at 9:30 and him leaving at 11:30, it became clear that mere access to the two coaxial jacks in my apartment was not enough, and the entire wiring had to be investigated.  However, this involved searching the adjacent apartment, since my cable is apparently at the end of the line, and nobody residing there has access to the adjacent apartment.  Moreover, my property manager could not be lifted by phone, and it is presently unclear whether or not he even has the necessary keys.  The sad offshoot of all this is that I probably won't have internet access at home for another week at the least.

I explained to my school that I would be arriving later that day, and so they were expecting me around noon when I arrived.  However, my contacts both had arrangements over lunch break, and so I found myself again admiring the simplicity and elegance of Plan A but resorting instead to Plan B.  In this case, I walked into town, where I had a few errands to run and could pick up lunch for cheap at the bayfront. When I got there, I found both shops that had exactly what I was looking for... closed.  I did manage to secure some lunch, however, in the form of Ms. Moore's exquisite salt fish fritters and passion fruit juice.  Yet another example of a day-brightening meal, but one that my arteries can only handle once per month or so.  (Compare it to eating a BK® Whopper for lunch.  Would you do it two days in a row? No.)

I somehow worked myself back to school, where my counterparts were ready to sit and dialogue with me on the various projects I am spearheading.  Right now, those are the Math Games and Activities collection that you have heard of here before, and the improvement and expansion of the school library.  I have made a gesture of good faith in both projects already, showing my willingness to move ahead with the project and my comfort level with the implementation with respect to both.  Now, I am mostly waiting on my school counterparts to make a similar display of commitment, in the first case actually trying out a handful of the math activities that I have developed and recording notes for their improvement, and in the second case nominating a handful of students that would be willing to help take on the project of improving the school library.  Who knows, at this stage, what timing will be involved in either effort, or whether or not either project will get off the ground?  Patience is the key.

So ultimately what needed to happen at school did, and I found myself trucking back into town to try those shops again and to catch a bus back home.  Lo and behold! Both shops are open for service, and had exactly what I was looking for: double-sided wall stickers for hanging things on concrete walls, and about 30 yards of fishing line to hang a curtain of CDs in front of my washing machine and appliances.  (I don't know that I can be more specific than that now, but pics soon will clarify.)  So with the bus back home, I discovered that my electricity was out.  And just when things were starting to look up!  I still had several hours of daylight; in theory that's enough time to still cook dinner for myself and a friend, but after hanging the Federation flag and the world map on my wall, and grocery shopping for that night, I was left with about an hour-and-a-half of daylight – not quite enough time to prepare vegetables, marinate mushrooms, boil water and cook rice, sauté the vegetables, and fry mahi-mahi patties.  So we lit a few candles and waited for my neighbor to get back home.  My neighbor surveyed the situation, walked out to the fuse box, and replaced my apartment's fuse with another one, and Ding! everything worked just fine.

I was able to wright yet another miracle in the kitchen, this time with an objective judge not myself.  Despite the difficulty in trying to recreate the success of a seeming fluke the second go around, and the fact that I was partially cooking in the dark, I think the pan-fried mahi-mahi on rice with veggies and marinated mushrooms turned out very pleasing.

Did I mention I cooked for myself last night?  So, all in all, everything worked out as planned except for the internet installation.  That's the happy ending!


  1. Chris,
    Glad you finally got to experience Bettys. What do you think caused the blown fuse. If the electrical service goes to your apartment specifically and is not shared with another than you would have had to cause the short. Like when you had the problem with the converter, that could have blown a fuse. I am con fused!
    Love! Dad

  2. ... wow. Punnerific.

    Well now, the truth is, I don't know that I blew a fuse, because when my neighbor replaced the cartridge (fuse?) with the different one, there actually wasn't one in the box where mine should have been. So he didn't replace the fuse, but moved one from another and the electricity proceeded to work immediately. Does that help at all?

  3. I think someone will have to go and buy a new fuse. Changing with someone else is going to get old after awhile. If its just vandalism a lock on the cabinet or box would solve that. Hope that you are able to get internet next week so that we can skype.
    Love Dad!

  4. Thanks again for the dinner, it was in fact, very tasty.