Wednesday, February 01, 2006

reasons why it´s not hard to laugh almost every day in el salvador

following is a short list of phrases i either thought to myself, or said outloud to other people, during my trip to molineros this past weekend:

“man, i’m glad that clown didn’t get on the bus.” so i was on bus #205 somewhere around nuevo lourdes and i looked out the window to see a man in a clown getup just miss getting on the bus. i had been riding the bus for about an hour at this point, and for most of that time had to listen to three men selling things on the bus, which can make you almost go out of your mind. one guy was selling some kind of medicine that i think he was claiming cured everything, including cancer. the second guy was selling these pictures of wilderness scenes. the third guy was selling tiny address books with what else but looney toons characters on them, and in the back were yes, you guessed it, passages from the bible. the buses here are a moving carnival, i swear. at every semi-major stop, women and men, and sometimes kids, hop on the bus and go up and down the aisles selling everything from pupusas to candy to water to toys to vegetables – and everything inbetween. you could almost do all of your grocery shopping simply by riding the bus around the country for a couple of hours. the “candy man” is the person seen most on the bus, and often times these men, in addition to selling “dulces and chicle,” also sell drugs when their stint on the bus is over for the evening. and did you all know that halls mentho-lyptus is really candy? seriously. here, halls is peddled on the buses under the guise of “dulces.” anyway, when these people get on the bus to sell things, it doesn’t matter if the bus is jam-packed with people. they push their way through the aisles shoving whatever it is they’re selling in your face. then there are the people like i mentioned previously that get on the bus and once the bus is moving, stand up and begin their speeches. a man could be selling something as simple as pencils – he’ll still find a way to talk for at least ten minutes about what the pencil can do. he’ll even demonstrate. i once told anna that big companies should recruit some of these people for sales positions. they do an awesome job of describing and selling such simple items, and they are so confident about it. in any event, when i saw the guy in the clown outfit in nuevo lourdes, i really didn’t want to see him get on the bus and sell whatever it was he was obviously going to sell. it would’ve just been too ridiculous.

“wait! stop! the puppy’s eating pig poop!” mama rosa somehow obtained two puppies – one female and one male. she wants to give me the female, but i told her i couldn’t have a dog until i get a house – if i ever get one. anyway, on friday when i arrived, mama rosa came over with a puppy on a leash and i about went crazy it was so cute. then she told me there was another one at her house, so dayana, sindy, jacqueline, fiorela and i walked across the road to mama rosa’s house to see the other one. he was absolutely inhaling its dog food that mama rosa had fed him. so when he was done, we walked around the house with it on its leash and sindy wanted to hold the leash so i gave it to her. but when we put the other puppy near it, they started playing and before long it was too much for sindy and she couldn’t hold onto the leash anymore. well, the puppy ran immediately over to the area where mama viviana (who lives next door) has her two pigs and began eating pig poop. of course, in seeing this, dayana started cracking up and i started yelling, in english, that this was gross and bad. i do this all the time when i’m reacting to something spur of the moment – i do it in english and it’s really quite funny. anyways, we got the puppy corralled and back to eating more dog food. you know, i’m surprised mama rosa had dog food for them because here, most puppies are left to scavenge like the adults are. the whole dog situation here is sad – at least in the campo. people here think i’m crazy for wanting to pet dogs or talk to them or whatever. people here just don’t treat their dogs like we do in the states. it’s like people want them to guard their houses and all that, but when it comes to feeding them properly or caring about them, they just don’t. i guess it’s hard when they are having a hard time feeding the members of their family, to feed the dog too. but it just seems like it’s out of control. there are dogs everywhere here, always scavenging, wandering the streets and getting in fights. i probably won’t get used to it, but it’s the way of life here.

“i could really go for a bag of water right now.” i actually think this a lot, but i just think that a “bag” of any kind of drink is hilarious. they sell bags of water, and sometimes, when you buy a soda or juice or whatever, the person selling it pours it in a bag and sticks a straw in and hands it to you. it’s odd at first, but actually, you get used to it. the other day i ate yucca out of a bag. basically, this is prepared by putting a few slices of yucca, some cerdo (pig) beef/fat, curtido and salsa in a bag and tying it shut. then the person eating it tears a corner of the bag open and eats the yucca that way. also people here sell what could be the greatest creation ever – chirimusco (I don´t think that´s the right spelling, but whatever). anyway, it’s cafe made with milk, not water, and sugar. they put this in a bag, tie it shut and freeze it. it only works with instant coffee and it’s friggin’ fantastic.

“wait a minute, where’d the kitchen go?” as i walked from the road to ana’s tienda/house, i came around the side and realized that the kitchen was pretty much gone. after expressing my surprise, ana told me that she had talked to her husband (who is living in the states) and they both agreed that the house should have more bedrooms. so papa ovidio and some other dudes had begun constructing two additional bedrooms and a storeroom to the back of the house. in addition, ana was moving the kitchen indoors, to my old room, and that way she could keep an eye on the tienda while she was in the kitchen. plus, she said, it was dangerous for her at night having to be outside where the kitchen used to be. so the next time i visit, she told me, i’d be sleeping in a whole new room!

“what the hell, more clowns?” on my way to molineros, there were two more dudes dressed up like clowns and i was seriously almost laughing out loud. clowns can be scary – but they can almost be ridiculously funny and seeing three in one day almost sent me into hysterics. one time, while waiting at desvio #51, i saw a guy dressed up as a clown, but he was with his non-clown friend, and he was also smoking a cigarette. good times.

“why does that bus have a sticker of “the mummy” on the back of it? and why is it spelled “mumy” because mummy in spanish is “momia.” along with the religious and looney toons character stickers you see adorning buses here, you also see random things like “the mumy” stickers. seriously, WTF? they leave you confused and feeling slightly stupid for even trying to find the logic in them.

anyway, that´s just a short list. if i could remember every crazy phrase i thought to myself or said to my friends or other people, i´d probably exceed the limit on the number of blog entries one person is allowed.

here´s some photos from molineros......adios for now!!!

dayana, sindy and fiorela


a little dark - but me, the male puppy and dayana

the female puppy