Latin Temperament

That night, after twinkling fireflies finished their nocturnal dance, the heavens opened. The temperature dropped and the entire Caribbean coast of Central America received two soggy days of grey downpour and roaring winds under a black sky.

When the Sun finally rose in a haze, it was as if gravity had fallen asleep.  Everyone and everything seemed incredibly light. The people crept round cautiously, afraid they might drift off or knock their few valuable possessions up into the temperamental atmosphere. Colours were deeper and more saturated, so that objects appeared superficial and cartoonish, as if they had mass but no weight. By contrast, the air itself was too thick to carry sound, and all noise was absorbed into the damp earth, which smelt of freshly cut flowers. 

By midday, when the sand-coloured sky had cleared, and the blue water no longer looked like chocolate-milk, the muggy warm air began to burn increasingly. Sitting immobile and half-naked in the sweltering shade, perspiration rolled and dripped, salty puddles rapidly evaporating. Yellow butterflies were drowsy and whistling tropical birds had given up on their revised jazz cacophony.

A Jesus lizard made a furtive dash across an open lawn to join a blue-striped salamander in the cool green bush. Whizzing past, upright on its spinning hind-legs, with its fanned crown erect and a desperately determined look on its face, the Jesus lizard stood at over a foot tall: a Jurassic Dwarf.

I borrowed a push-bike and cycled the hundred yards to the beach. This time there were no goliath gleaming cruise ships, shaped like galleons with grand masts, docked in the bay. The water was stormed by ten thousand Hondurans, swept in from the baking cities.

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