There's a primary school just behind our room, the playground chatter and squeals drifts over like squabling seagulls on a rock. Then comes a report like a stone landing on the clay pantile roof. First one then a few more. The location and the association with being stoned on that train leads to an erroneous conclusion. A rumble of thunder and a crackle of rocket fire suggests another answer.
When Adam and Eve were expelled from Eden, they were assumed to have relocated to Tarija, Bolivia. Or at least that's the claim made by the local city fathers. Set at around 2000 metres, with an equitable climate suitable for wine production, the biblical association is obvious. On our way over the rolling countryside, small plots of vines start to proliferate, each covered by sheet cloths of stretched mesh. We'd speculated on their purpose and concluded on hail protection, not realising how quickly confirmation might come.
Another artillery of projectiles exploding on the roof, the shards of ice shattering across the secluded square. The assault increases, the crecendo intensifying, all other noise is blotted out. The doves swirl around in a panic, unable to settle, as cloud seeding rockets add to the cacophony.
With climo-exaggeration, and using the recognised unit of measurement I'd like to claim they were the size of golf balls, or even apocalyptical toads, only they were more akin to glass marbles, that melt and steam on the hot terrazzo tiles. Then, as quickly as the storm appeared the sun returns and the quiet constant hum of a city settles down again. Yet all this meteorological violence has no noticeable effect on the potted courtyard flora, not even the cigarette plant is extinguished. Another four o'clock storm.