B is for … no-no, not butch … it’s for Bins
GREEN wheelie bins are an integral part of the Eressian landscape.
They’re parked in random rows of about three, four or five, these visible sentries of stink.
They pop up anywhere, even on the gravel road outside the village, ugly things, without lids, and they get uglier and smellier the fuller they become.
Overflowing they are hideous! An eyesore and blight on this rugged agrarian landscape.
The bees and flies love them though, and so do the gangs of feral cats that guard each line as their private territory.
They stand their ground, these felines. They hiss with plastic bags hanging from their bad teeth, their eyes turned up to view the dogs who charge at them
Silly dogs, they invariably have to back off. The cats don’t budge.
They are intent on tearing apart the bags, vehemently. They won’t let go, not for anything.
They know what they want: food.
One-eyed cats, scraggly straggly cats, cats with black noses, — yes, they have black tips on their noses the bin cats – they slink close to the ground, prowling, heads turn this way and that.
They protect their bounty, on their turf.
The Kaftan One, she points out their black noses to you, the Kaftan One who joined the Europride parade in Oslo this last weekend with Maria, her grandchild. Miss Muscles and Krolle were also there, and The Grunter.
Ah, your Norwegian friends. You miss having them here, to cook for, to love.
But you can’t miss a trip to the bins.
Oh no. Everything goes in or around those bins: all, all the waste from the house, including human waste, even mattresses and old chairs, tiles, discarded toilets, fish heads and entrails, you name it.
Yes. Mediterranean plumbing demands that you put your soiled toilet paper in a plastic bag and dispose of it yourself. Of course, you — everyone, even the tavernas, or any place you go – you let the receptacle next to the lavatory get full before you tie the bags handles and lob them into the greenies.
One old duck dressed in black, bent back and bandy legs, you see her leaning on her walking stick, about 6m from the bins near your place.
She’s not taking any chances. She twirls her bags — one, two, three four — and lets them spin through the air towards their landing place.
Yuk. The bags spray their contents and land splat on the ground.
The startled cats shudder then pounce.
They’re so at home at the bins that they sometimes recline on the detritus.
Comfortable. The kings and queens of the reeking castles.
They watch you as you walk by, each cat more dishevelled than the next, each cat smugger than the other.
It’s as if they’re saying bin there done that. But you’ve never heard one miaow.
Ps: You’re on your way home from your morning walk with Vento today and there’s Sam, from Sam’s on the square. He’s in his vegetable patch. He gives you beetroot, cucumber, green pepper, carrots. You’re eating from the soil of Eressos he says.
You love it. Eressian generosity. It’s a culture.
Ask the cats!