Achacha: five stars for what is usually a five star fruit. The achacha is a delicious fruit, and is originally from Bolivia. Its flesh is soft and creamy. The flavour reminds me of pineapple with a hint of either eucalyptus or pine needles, although it is not closely related to either. In comparison to the bold and confronting eucalyptus flavour of the feijoa, the achacha is subtle and welcoming. I can find no fault with the achacha.
When it started getting darker, Henry Erstwhile directed us away from the river promenade and up through the city streets. We came across a large brick egg-carton of a building, its irregular edges cutting a jagged silhouette against the dusk sky. The building consisted of several towers connected to one another by long corridors. The corridors were several storeys high, while the towers were at least twice as tall. There were at least five such towers that seemed to be arranged randomly, and each tower had sharp brick protrusions and intrusions smattered about the external walls. In some places the brick had started to crumble, and it had been crudely patched together with various materials. Each aspect of the building had been designed with a calculated discord. It had been designed to induce a certain oppression of the inhabitants; an oppression that was subtle enough to feign ignorance of the building’s true purpose, but an oppression that persisted day upon day, year upon year.
Henry ushered us down a ramp into a subterranean tarmacadam cavern. It was a sort of underground stables that consisted of many rows of small plots. We walked along the rows, looking for an empty plot to stay in. We saw the sleeping vagrants and the transient roustabouts who were in-between jobs and the ne’erdowells and the nut pedlars selling hot-browns and the tinkers repairing pots and pans and the buskers dancing a Latin rhythm and the cobblers who embroidered arcane wards onto old shoes – little tick marks to protect the wearer from indecision and pestilence – and the fishmongers who sold fish and the pallid fishmangers who ate it.
Finally, we found an empty plot that was just big enough for a mule, a produce cart, and a few bedrolls. I helped Henry out of his barrel and unharnessed Blotch from the produce cart, before performing our ablutions. Henry had given my eldest nephew and me a new toothbrush, and we were excited to try them out with our vigorous masculine brushing. I went first. It hurt a bit, but I found the metallic taste rather refreshing. My eldest nephew went next. Alas, his youthful vigour was so powerful that he lost a tooth, the poor fellow.
We slept well in our underground abode, sheltered from the weather. One could do worse than to live underground.