Saturday, October 27, 2007

vacas, límon, y maize

Overland travel has its perks that aren´t solely limited to sweaty knee pits. Take today for example. I bid my peace corps homies good bye and set off on my way to San Salvador. I took a chicken bus to the border full of Honduran and not a single gringo besides myself. This meant the flavors of Honduras were going full force. We had to avoid a herd of cattle being led down the roadby a man with a red flag, everyone was drinking little plastic bags of water (that is how they roll here) and I got to check out the local scenery (lots of hills and laundry drying in the sun). The border crossing at Amatillo was my favorite yet. El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Guatemala have some agreement E.U. styles where you only have to go through customs once. So I strolled across the no man´s land bridge and right into El Salvador. I did have a pleasant conversation with a customs official who wanted to make sure I knew I needed to leave within three months of entering, but other than being harassed to change my lempiras to dollars it was a mellow country change.
Once in El Sav I jumped on the bus headed to Santa Rosa de Lima where I was told I could catch a ¨direct¨ bus to San Salvador. This bus had a tv mounted above the driver in the front and was blaring music videos at full force. The last man to board the bus had bags and bags filled with limes, the whole bus smelled of the them which was lovely until we hit a truck filled with corn. First off I want to say that from my limited experience I am pretty sure that all El Salvadorian bus drivers think they are f-1 racers. We were cruising along at top speed and ran straight into the back of a pickup filled with corn plants. Everyone on the bus had their heads hanging out the window to check out the damage, and within seconds were bailing from the bus like it was sinking. I followed their lead and joined the crowd on the street. Within a minute a hilux truck pulled up and the driver started yelling, ¨¿Santa Rosa?¨at all of us, so I along with límon man piled in the bed and went racing off to Santa Rosa, which was good because I just made the bust to San Salvador. The límon man ended up having to pay the truck driver in limes because he wouldn´t take lempiras which made all of us except the driver laugh. And then I was on my way to San Salvador on a bus that stank of windsheild fluid and oil.
The bus ride was a bit wild, we wound through hills covered with corn at speeds where it felt like the bus was going to tip over. I kept knodding off much to the amusment of my new friend ¨Sabado,¨well at least I think that´s what his name is. Sabby is a vaquero, I know this because he stuck up his pointer fingers as horns and mooed at me. I said, ¨¿vacas?¨and he said, ¨sí, bacas.¨ And then he asked me I liked to drink beer and if I wanted to get a hotel with him. I said, ¨No,¨ and then spent the rest of the ride staring out the window. Gringas are supposed to be easy didn´t you know that?
Anyways now I have my own room with no cowboy and I am going to try and obtain some El Salvadorian pupusas for dinner. I tried the southern Honduran version, ¨¡que rico!¨ right eva?

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