Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Def(y)ine normal

“Hey, you should come down there later!” we are shouting and laughing as we drive. “I will, I will come for her” shouts back the guy beside the road that’s selling stuff. We laugh again. The sun is burning. People are walking in the middle of the street. “I will park the car here in this little shade”. Huh, it’s so hot. The huge trash nearby is burning. Nothing new. “Alek! Alek!” Kids are approaching me, jumping through the dry and thorny grass. Can’t see them clearly from the scorching sun. Hugs, shouts, loud. “Watch out for the thorns!” “Whatever happened to the water pump? We have no water. If we would, we could take the hose and just sprinkle all around the playground”. We hear the sound of the tall dry grass burning still far from us. Taller than us. One of the kids is riding a horse. Actually it’s a human horse. Every now and then there are small explosions in the burning trash. What can that be? Some kind of bottles under pressure? “Hey, who wants water?” The smell is getting worst and the wind is blowing dark clouds our way smelling of burning plastic. “If you don’t give him the ball I’ll take it away!” “Don’t you think we should call the fire brigade? What’s their number?” “I know” a confident little voice says. 192!” “No, that’s the police!” A bit later a truck comes and they start putting down the fire. “Come on guys, let’s go, it just smells too bad”. We are on the way. The wind is blowing. Suddenly it’s 3 trucks. Suddenly the fire is going wild just 2 or 3 meters from our playground. Not the playground! Thousands of shiny drops are attacking the flames. The battle of the elements. I hope the water wins this time. Little bit later the bottle of water is moving among the thirsty firemen. Phew! That was close. Back in to the car, my clothes reek of smoke but I’m happy. “Honey, guess what happened today?” “What? A normal day in Shutka?” “Depends how you define normal”.

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