One of the, many, lovely things here are the fruit trees that grow almost everywhere. Via XX Settembre, a main street leading from Porta Pia into Centro is lined with orange trees and our compound has orange, kumquat and lemon trees. But the fruit is very seldom used for anything, it simply rots on the trees or the ground. Occasionally someone does pick it – like our friends Andre and Joyce who use the oranges in their neighborhood for juice – but mostly it just goes to waste. On a side street near us there’s a beautiful fig tree (above) that shades part of the sidewalk and I have seen people from nearby offices and the Embassy of Côte d’Ivorie take a few as a snack.
But the bulk of it just falls to the sidewalk and road and forms a sweet, sticky, rotting mess – a sweet sticky mess that coats the soles of your shoes and is particularly attractive to wasps. And it seems that every year someone parks a vehicle for a few months under that tree. Last year it was an SUV, this year a different car but with the same result.
I love figs but I’m trying to imagine cleaning up the mess without taking half the paint with it. But I know that one morning I will walk by and the car will have disappeared – perhaps carried off by a swarm of wasps!
16 settembre – Santa Lumdilla