Here in colonial Santo Domingo it is almost 4pm on a steamy Thursday afternoon. In (fictitious) Maarsdam, (maybe) Sweden it is cold, will be raining again in a minute and the murderer has just decided he must kill again. (“Hour of the Wolf”/Hakan Nesser)
In Haiti it is 1791 and the revolt of the slaves is taking shape. It is bloody from the beginning as has been the history of Haiti since Columbus arrived on these shores. Sugar cane fields are burning, knives are slashing, guns are blazing, rape is the ultimate revenge and let’s see where this all ends up. (“All Souls’ Rising”/Madison Smartt Bell)
Meanwhile… back to the north, Stockholm to be exact, it’s nasty December weather—what a time to exchange a warm stay-at-home evening for a face to face with colleagues you don’t like over a bloody body in a cold flat. And to figure out what any of this has to do with a cold case attack on the German Embassy some year ago. (“Another Time, Another Life”/Leif F.S. Persson)
What I’m reading when I am not drinking beer.
MEANWHILE it is still the first week of January 2013 in Santo Domingo. Travel is many things. One of them is boredom. Enervating boredom. I have my book friends (referenced above) but at the moment neither Swedish detectives nor Haitian freedom fighters are of interest. I’m so done with the Calle El Conde of cheap stores, bad food and tacky souvenirs. What to do. One more day here. One at the beach near the airport. One to get home home home home.
Paul Theroux grouses about places and situations all of the time … so can I. And, honestly, the Santo Domingo is boring … in its lack of a strong cultural heritage; in the sense that it could be a slightly tacky Miami suburb; in that there’s just no here here. Although there are more malfunctioning car alarms per square foot than anywhere else in the world. And there may even be more pizza parlors. And and and and…
We did go to the Botanical Garden this morning. It’s reasonably beautiful. The famed orchids are in their off-season but a few brightened our walk. We stopped at what turned out to be a down-at-the-heels shopping center and walked from there to a little street side restaurant that specialized in white sauce (my fault, didn’t know what to order that wouldn’t be white!—whatever prompted me to come without a dictionary).
Enjoy my flowers.
AND MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL AND TO ALL A GOODNIGHT! FROM THE SUNNY LAZY SLIGHTLY INEBRIATED CARIBBEAN.