I finally saw some. Most people I know cannot believe that I have lived in Augusta for 5 years and never seen a gypsy. Well, I guess the "correct" term is Irish Traveler. I have driven through Murphy Village numerous times and seen their weird mansions with all of the huge windows totally covered up, but I had never seen an actual living person until today. I was fascinated and wanted to stare. I saw them at the hospital, since that is the only place I'm going these days. I had actually been looking for them for the last 6 weeks or so, because I heard about how they take over the waiting room when one of them is having a baby. Another patient and one of the nurses, and then a friend all described them the same way, and they were all right. When I saw one, I knew what I was looking at.
I first saw three middle aged women with the same exact hair-do. It was sort of poofy, and didn't move at all. It looked very unnatural, like a bad wig. I haven't seen a 'do this bad in a while, so that alone was cause for me to (try not to) stare, and then I saw the waiting room. There wasn't an empty seat in the house. All of the benches around the well baby nursery were taken, and the NICU waiting room was also full, and every chair on the 3rd floor of the hospital was occupied. About half of these people had the same bad hair-do. The younger girls - like my age :), had their hair in curls. Lots of curls. It was almost pretty, except that it too, looked totally unnatural and wig-like. I have no idea how they get their hair to do this. It was big and curly and that's the only way I know how to describe it. Everyone was made-up. Very made up. I didn't see any little kids, which I was sort of disappointed by, because I've heard that they dress up their 2 year olds the same way. There also were no men, at least none that I could see. There were about 5 teenage boys, who looked like quintuplets. All wearing white vests and a pink shirt underneath. Actually everyone was wearing pink, evidently when one of them has a baby they all show up in pink or blue depending on the gender of the child. Most of them had a flattened face. Some think that this is from years of inbreeding, and I heard from a somewhat reputable source that a lot of their babies have health problems due to this (the inbreeding, not the flat face). At any rate, they all looked the same. I have heard that there are only 3 last names among the 1500+ people that live in their community. There are the blond and brunette ones that have quite a bit of money and flash, and then another group that isn't rich and who live in trailers. When I was leaving, there were two who got in the elevator with me, a young brunette and her mother. The young girl was talking very fast - which was another thing that I had heard about them. They talk fast and have an accent so you can't understand what they are saying. My sister and I happen to have the gift of speaking fast, so fast that my dad on occasion has accused us of speaking a different language. I had no problem understanding what this girl was saying, but I can honestly say that I have never, ever, since moving to the south, heard someone talk this quickly. I smiled at them, which for those of you who know me is something that I don't get accused of doing too often, and they actually did smile back, sort of. Which contradicted what I had heard about them being rude to anyone who was not part of their group. Not totally rude anyway. We weren't BFF or anything by the time we got out of the elevator, but I thought exchanging smiles was nice. That is the whole story of my first gypsy encounter. For some reason I am totally fascinated with these people.