I’m hiking down this road to a meeting a couple miles away. I´m wearing shorts, which is rare, because usually I wear pants. Despite living in a tropical country, that’s the style, and I´ve gotten use to it. My legs rarely see the sun of day. When I do choose to wear shorts, the reflection off my thighs and lower legs is blinding before the direct sunlight burns me tomato red.
I bump into a lady who lives on the road and is walking down to the meeting that I’m going to. She is with her son.
She starts out the typical Ngabere dialogue, that goes like this :
Woman:Where is your Bossi (girlfriend/wife/mother of your children)?
me: I don’t have a Bossi.
Woman: How do you eat? who cooks your food? Your clothes are clean, who washes them?
me: I cook my food. I wash my cloths, or I take them down to town and have them washed at the Laundromat.
Woman: You must be really sad and lonely. You must be really cold at night sleeping by yourself.
Me: its not so bad, we live in Panama, its not that cold. even here in the hills, all you need is an extra blanket.
Woman: You must be so sad and cold. So cold!
From here they usually ask me who makes my coffee, and are general surprised and have disbelief that I live alone. This time though she lost track of the conversation, the typical dialogue, and started to ask her son about my glow in the dark legs.
I wasn´t sure what she was saying at first, but she was pointing at my legs and saying “boudiari” which sounds like the last name of a french Canadian hockey player. I remembered that this word means naked
she kept pointing to my legs.
Then she stops me, walks over to me, and rubs my legs.
At this point I´m pretty confused.
“I wasn´t sure that the hair on your legs were part of your legs,” she tells me. “Your legs are very hairy – I thought the were some kind of new pants.”
No no, I’m just very hairy, and my legs glow in the dark.
They help me stay warm at night.