SURREAL ADVENTURES FROM THE SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS

Thursday, November 7, 2013

THERE'S NO ONE QUITE LIKE GRANDMA

Knock knock.I heard her walk towards the door at a snail’s pace.
Knock knock.

-         I’m on my way! –she shouted, answering to my impatient knocking-
 She stood behind the bolted door and asked:

-          Who is it?
-          It’s me Yaya. Let me in please –I whispered-

Some seconds of silence followed before she slowly opened the door. She stared at me with great surprise. Her eyes were as big as tea saucers.

-          Leni! –she shouted-
-          I’m very happy to see you again, sweetie. Everybody thought you had disappeared forever! Your face has been on the milk cartons for months!
-          Chill out, Yaya and drink some water.
-          I need something stronger. That bottle of Moonshine over there will do. I brew it myself, hehehe.
-          Yaya! This is dangerous!
-          What doesn’t kill you makes you fatter, honey.

I had a gulp from the bottle myself.


Did you think my Yaya looks like the funny smoker old woman on the left? No. She’s the nice lady on the right. But beware: her harmless look hides the naughty joker genes of the Qinans.
-          I’ve been hunting high and low for you but  I couldn’t find you, baby. I’ve got loads of phonecalls and emails from your boss, from your boyfriend, from your friends, from your ex-boyfriends...
-          I ran away, Yaya.
-          Could you please precise me where and why? –she asked-
-          To North Sandwich. Because I was fed up with everything here.
-          I’m pretty sure that “everything” in life can be fixed, Leni.
-          Yeah. With duct tape.
-          Come on, stop being silly! Be more positive!
 
The living room was freezing.

-          Yaya,  isn’t it very cold in this room?
-          Yes, honey. But I can’t afford the heating bill, so I just put a couple of sweaters and a blanket on. –she said, lowering her gaze-
-          What about your retirement pension? And your piano classes? Don’t you get enough money to live comfortably?

She sighed.

-          Honey, since you left, things have got only worse in Sandwich. My pupils couldn’t pay me and I ended up selling the piano, so the classes are over. My pension has been reduced, so I had to fasten the belt, just like everybody else. I must watch what I spend sweetheart or I’ll end up having tomato soup every day.
-          Is it really that bad?
-          5 million sandwichians have lost their jobs and 100 small businesses are shut down every day. People can’t pay for their mortgages and 600 families are evicted from their homes every day. Every now and then some jump off the window in desperation before they’re forced out of the house. Kitchen soups are packed full. Taxes never stop rising while salaries never stop shrinking. Elders spend their pensions to provide for their grandchildren. Social unrest is on the rise.  Young qualified people have no choice but emigrating to look for a better future. And now our doctors and engineers are cleaning latrines in the pubs of Burdishland and Orsinia.
-          Talking about being positive...
-          That’s what there is, Missy! Haven’t you heard about the subprime mortgage crisis, the real estate bubble, banks’ failures, bailouts, corruption and political scandals?
-          No.

I didn’t dare tell her that I had been intoxicated by poisonous dust while working as a cruise waitress and suffered from total amnesia for several months. She wouldn’t believe me.

-          Are you hungry, honey? I’ll make you a sandwich.

I opened the fridge like I used to do when I was a kid expecting to find some tasty delicacies but it was almost empty.

-          Don’t worry. Tomorrow I’ll get a box of groceries from the Blue Cross.
-          Do you live off charity, Yaya?
-          No, Leni. My income is not enough for the cost of living, but I get by with a little help from the food bank. I was a bit ashamed at first, but not now. Anyway... let me offer you a warm cup of tea and a sit down. Now tell me, how come you took French leave without notice? I’m all ears, honey.

I sighed deep and took some seconds to think how to explain I had screwed up my personal and professional life in the blink of an eye.

But before I could even open my mouth, the doorbell rang.



12 comments:

LX said...

AHA! That trickster Yaya was fooling us with that avatar. Although I sort of suspected that was the case given the lovely Leni.

Please pass the Moonshine.

sage said...

You are back, with your wit, and you leave us hanging in suspense... waiting for more

Ms Scarlet said...

I also have misgivings about things I've done in a blink of an eye.
Easily done... but duct tape and tea can make things better.
Sx

LX said...

[off-topic. sorry]

Another movie I can highly recommend to Yaya & Leni is Das Leben der Anderen. It is about life in East Berlin under surveillance by the Stasi.

Chef Files said...

Ah, so nice to see that you haven't lost your eloquent touch with the magic of words. The photies are a nice touch also.

Leni Qinan said...

*passes bottle of Moonshine to LX*

Help yourself, dear LX!
Yaya is quite something. Just wait until you get to know her and you’ll agree with me. As far as I’m concerned… * whispers* thank you, dear. Don’t make me blush. ;)
XXX

Leni Qinan said...

Dear Sage,

I just love to give my bloggers some food for thought until I post again. :)

Leni Qinan said...

Dear Scarlet, you’re really sweet! Mr. Blue is lucky to live with someone as positive, romantic and relaxed as you. I hope he appreciates. 
XXX

Leni Qinan said...

Off-topics are always welcome, dear LX. I really appreciate your cinematographic recommendations. They’re always welcome about any subjects you’d like to send them. I enjoyed a lot watching recently “Goodbye Lenin” and started watching “My dinner with Andre” (I’ve read in your archives that it’s one of your favorite movies, so it was clear to me that it was a must-see. I’ve actually seen the beginning but I was tired and am reserving it for the weekend). I have saved “The lives of others” already in my film files and as soon as my obligations allow me to, I’ll be watching it!
XXX

Leni Qinan said...

Dear Chef,
Thank you! I really appreciate your nice comment, even more coming from an excelent writer and storyteller. :)

1looby said...

Good morning. Some familiar faces here I see.

I will confine my initial comment to something profoundly philosophical.

Love those tights!

Leni Qinan said...

Welcome to my house Looby! These familiar faces are the best in Blogland, join the club!

I'm glad that you love tight thighs! :) :)