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Bluefields Blues (standard:non fiction, 1578 words)
Author: JuggernautAdded: Jan 24 2011Views/Reads: 1507/773Story 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

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