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|Bluefields Blues (standard:non fiction, 1578 words)|
|Author: Juggernaut||Added: Jan 24 2011||Views/Reads: 1507/773||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A short biographic sketch on poor choices|
Bluefields Blues Subba Rao Once upon a time mostly English or British descendents on the island settled in a town just over 2000 feet above the Caribbean Sea for the cool breeze and to get away from the tropical hot humid weather of the coastal areas. Thus the town acquired the name English town. The town is practically sitting on mineral rich bauxite hill. The bauxite soil is red in contrast to the thick, green tropical vegetation. The red dirt below and bright blue sky above; green vegetation year around with climate just right made this town a heaven for the residents that don't care for the beach, since a drive to the nearest beach is long and tiresome on winding mountain roads. The majority of the town people are employed in the aluminum smelters. The daily excavation into the mountain slopes to remove bauxite mineral for processing to extract aluminum exposed more bright red bauxite. On one side of the town is the ‘Red Mud Lake' formed from the hazardous sludge, a waste by-product of the aluminum smelter; though looks magnificent from the hill side, its impact on the environment was unknown. But again, it is all about jobs that the aluminum smelters create that counts in the Bauxite town. Since the town was located on a mountain, there is no ground or well water supply; the entire town population depends on stored rain water, which is plenty from abundant rains. The roof gutters allow rain water to flow into on-site water tanks for storage at each house providing free water supply. The red bauxite soil is good for agriculture too; it supports anything that grows underground or aboveground from yellow and sweet yams to exotic fruits. The tall Pommerac trees with juicy fruits that resemble red apples are common along the roadside. Cho-Cho, a pear shaped squash like vegetable considered expensive in India with a name ‘Bangalore Vankaaya' grows wild on wasteland here. The market at the town center is always bustling with vendors hawking fresh fruits; Avocadoes, guava, Giuinep, naseberry, mangoes, oranges, tangerines, rose apple, star apple, sour and sweet sop, jack fruit and of course bananas. In any time of the day, one can shop for household goods, clothing, produce, fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers and meat from freshly killed animal carcasses hanging like bunch of bananas at the butcher shops. The town center is also a bus stop for people travelling to the capital City and the surrounding areas. Hustlers run around to book passengers into their vans; in the process they snatch the bags from the passengers to place in vans to force them to accept the ride in their own vans. This experience was strange and freighting at first to Juggernaut when he just arrived in the town to accept employment with an agricultural research institute. The English Town is full of expatriate technocrats or expats working with various agencies both private and government. The expats particularly liked the town for its excellent climate though far from the nearest beaches on southwest coast. A drive to beautiful beaches on North coast from the town is long but less steep whereas the drive to southwest coastal beaches at the bottom of the hill is tedious through a winding road with sharp twists and hairpin turns. Juggernaut was excited to drive for the very first time his brand new car, a sky blue Volkswagen Beatle to match with the color of the Caribbean sky. It was only one week ago, he received the driving license after a rigorous road test most people fail on the first instance. Shifting gears to maneuver the car through narrow winding roads on hillside was a challenge immediately after receiving the drivers' license. One has to be careful in driving immediately after a rain shower since the fine bauxite dust on the road turns into thin film of mud turning the roads into slippery skid rows. The first scary driving experience for Juggernaut was to maneuver the skidding car to a safety during one such rain event. Ganapathi was one of the longtime expats in town. Everybody called him Click here to read the rest of this story (90 more lines)
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