Saturday morning. I went, in the early morning, to the farmer's market to get our supply of fruits and veggies, leaving Sandra to sleep in. I have strolled up and down, stopping at various vendors to buy the things that appeal to me today and my 2 bags are bulging. This is a process I always enjoy.
The noise of the vendors extolling the virtues of their produce; the smells and colors, the relaxed and friendly camaraderie of both buyers and sellers all add up to produce an atmosphere of good vibrations.
As I pass one vegetable stall for the 2nd time, the lady asks, "Can I help you darlin?"
"Tomatoes." I reply.
"Nope, taint none dis week. Try some ohbahjeans"
"Pardon me?" I reply.
"What for? You done somefin wrong already so early in da day?" she says.
"Probably," I respond, "but what I meant is: -- I did not catch what you said."
"Ohbahjeans. Try some. Plenty good. Good for you too." she waves her hand to the left. My eye follows.
Aha! Eggplant. Aubergine. I catch on. They do look good. She has both kinds, the white ones and the purple ones. "Ok, sure, I'll take some of the purple ones. "
"Not purple, honey, dey black like me. Dey full and firm an taste mighty fine too, jus like me."
Even after living ten years in the Caribbean, the everyday casual ribald humor still surprises me occasionally and I am never quite sure how to respond.
In my haste to hopefully change the subject, I blurt out "I see you also have some zucchini. Too bad you have no tomatoes. I could make some ratatouille."
She immediately comes back with, "You come home wit me sweetie and we make somefin mighty fine wit da zucchini and ohbahjean. You don't need no young tomato. Dey not ripe yet."
The lady at the next stand is chuckling and I am blushing the color of my missing tomatoes.
"Ooh boy, you in trouble now," exclaims the lady next door, "Her eggplant mess up many man 'fore you."
"Well, I'd better just take some eggplant home to cook up later," I say, hoping to extricate myself from further embarrassment.
"Honey, you always eat at home, you missin out on some fine island dinin," explains my saucy purveyor of aubergines.
"You bes be careful," counters her neighbor, "you eat in her kitchen, you maybe not go home."
I am in over my head. I can only smile and play the bemused straight man to their comedy tag team.
"How do you suggest these eggplant be cooked?" I ask, resigned to setting myself up for more.
"Bes to cook em up slow n easy, wit plenty a spice." answers my vendor, " hot n juicy is da way dey done best."
"Maybe da man ina hurry," enjoins her partner, "if'n he's extra hungry dis morning, fry em up fast, den givem a second helpin."
"He not dat young; he know a good meal take time to do right ," rejoins the first.
"You ladies are too good for me. I'll just take half a dozen eggplants and go home," I answer.
She gives me 8. "Man always want more than he ask for first time," she tells me with a wicked smile.
"I suppose that'd be true," I say, as I pay. "Thank you."
"You come again anytime honey." she tells me as I walk away.
"Desmond has a barrow in the marketplace
echo the Beatles in my head as I drive home.
"Moussaka for dinner tonight by candlelight," I tell Sandra when I get home.
© Leslie Fieger. All rights reserved worldwide.
Leslie is the author of The DELFIN Knowledge System Trilogy: The Initiation, The Journey and The Quest plus many more success publications. He also the co-author of The End of the World with Hugh Jeffries and Alexandra's DragonFire with his daughter Ashley. Subscribe to his free and ad-free eZine at http://www.ProsperityParadigm.com or http://www.LeslieFieger.com
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