Sep 23, 2007

Another Fish Friday?

Already? Yup. Though technically now it's Sunday... but I had fish for dinner and cooked fish at midnight (don't ask), so it would be a Fish Friday AND a Fish Sunday.

As an aside, you know you're climbing the medical school scholastic ladder as Wikipedia becomes less and less useful, and a good half the time, doesn't even begin to have an idea what I'm asking it. Of course, without the help of Wiki and Google, I probably already would have failed out of medical school, so who knows how I'll do as my safety net gradually fills with holes.

There is the fact that the main courses this term are physiology and neuroscience (no offense, immunology, but you're two units) and both have exquisitely written notes for the most part, so that helps.

But Fish Friday... again... I went two weekends ago, and though I had a great time again, discovered that I really should go on one of the "odd" weekends, since I think we keep hitting it on the slow night. We had the same crowd, though added Grrr, who wisely ate before going since vegetarians and Fish Fridays may not be well-met. I think she had an okay time though. At least she says she did.

We called the taxi who this time recommended we take the reggae buses, which I think was a way of saying he was full. This actually worked out quite well because I love reggae buses due to the atmosphere, and it's the only time listening to constant soca (so I guess "soca buses" would be more accurate) doesn't gut me.

I'm not sure if they've expanded their routes along with the extra 50 cents EC they added to their prices, but the #1 buses now go all the way down the Maurice Bishop highway, which may not mean a lot to many of you, but since I live in EASY walking distance of it (even at night), this means good things for me, since I no longer have to catch the Grand Anse school bus, go to its stop, cross a roundabout full of crazy drivers, and wait at the bus stop.

Come to think of it, I probably never did, but living on campus meant I generally had to catch a bus or walk a mile anyway, so we'll go with it.

Many people (myself included) ask for reggae bus routes. Hell, many people ask for the school bus routes, which are at least fixed, if for the fact that they don't tend to stop unless someone is standing at an unmarked stop or someone on the bus hits the buzzer, so have fun discovering those. Anyway, the reggae buses, while they seem to have some outer limits and boundaries, seem to more have territories than routes, with a few (marked) stops here and there and the rest sort of left to chance. Which is kind of a cool way to see the Grenadian countryside or grab a beer when they inevitably stop at bars to pass them through the windows to paying patrons (shrug). Your mileage may vary.

The nice thing to remember about the buses (other than the fact that they very rarely have serious accidents so no matter what your intuition is telling you about your impending fate, just find your happy place and you'll be fine) is that all roads lead to the bus station in downtown St. George's so once you get a bus, given enough time, you can get pretty much anywhere in Grenada.

Quick instructions: If a van has a number in the front window and someone is yelling at you, they are (probably) not sexually harassing you, but asking if you want a ride and will typically yell out the destination. If you're not interested just make kind of a sideways "go on" gesture. If you are, jump in and say goodbye to your personal space. There's usually a driver and a moneytaker/seat arranger. He will show you where to sit (regardless of whether you believe you will fit there), possibly rearrange you, and as noted, will take your money and usually give you change. If you need change and are getting off before the bus station, it's polite to pay him before the stop so he can get your change without holding anyone up, but I've never really seen anyone get yelled at for it either. It's 2.5 EC for anywhere along the #1 route, and it was 4.5 on top of that to get to Gouyave, making for 14 EC roundtrip per person. Ohhh, we beat last time!

To stop, bang on the ceiling. This is also how you get the reggae bus style campus buses to stop. Yelling "HEY!! HEY!!! THIS IS MY STOP!" does provide amusement to the people on the bus though. Fortunately, I knew better before I got here.

Anyway, at the station, we grabbed the #5 bus to Gouyave... now, the last time we went, we had 18 people in a taxi van... I don't have any idea how many people were in this reggae bus, nor could I raise a hand to count or take pictures because one arm was crammed into my side, and the other had to be around Grr sleazy date style so we could get some rib room. Good god. It was packed full when the guy said shoving 5 more people in was no problem.

My seatmate to the right was a man holding an infant... now, I'm typically somewhat gutter mouthed (I control it), but I go all gosh-darnits around infants and kids, because my parents would smack me from across the hemisphere if they intuited that I was saying bad words around rugrats. Grr is apparently the opposite and has some variety of minor-present tourette's syndrome so that while her normal language is somewhat pristine, the second a baby's in earshot, she's Richard Pryor. Probably had something to do with the speed at which a reggae bus can take a corner on a road that looks built for 1.5 car widths with oncoming traffic and is on a cliff edge. Apparently overloading them by a ton means they can corner on a dime without flipping over. Holy shucks!

So despite stops to deposit and restock people and some Friday-night traffic through St. George's, we still made it in pretty much the exact same time.

Fish Friday was prof night, which was interesting to watch, including the head of the CPH (the one who actually tried) leading to some "Uhhh..." moments, but fortunately he was distracted by the member of our party who apparently actively yelled at him (I swear it wasn't me), but still managed to be quite nice about it. The professor who went on an hour long smoking rant was blissfully absent.

Also present was a biochem professor, who's name will be hidden to protect the innocent, who was great fun, visibly inebriated late in the evening (awesome, I love medical school), and told us cheerfully that the bus ride home would be all sorts of fun now that the drivers had a chance to get good and drunk. Eep.

Look! More Fish Friday!

Oh, the warehouse you walk through to get to the restrooms:

Surprisingly enough, this *isn't* the place where serial killers bid for a chance to pick off backpackers.

And of course, the entrance to it had to be a photo op:

What's kind of weird is that the inside of the warehouse (restrooms outside in the back in a separate building with this weird abandoned building in between that seems to serve no function) doesn't smell like urine, which any similar structure in the U.S. would.

Enough of that topic...

The band was back:

Dave pointed out that a number of the songs are actually somewhat explicit when you listen to the words, while sounding all Harry Belafonte-esque. Well done, guys.

We caught a bus (a much less crowded bus) back at 10 to the bus stop and back to the route so Dave would have a chance at getting some sleep before he whisked off to Atlanta for the weekend (sniff).

But, the early hour getting back and the lack of inebriation (I was a good girl, relatively) means I got all sorts of stuff done today, so that's good. Hooray for Pain lectures in neuro!


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