Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Mango Heaven

It's finally here. Christmas in El Salvador, or as some say mango season. This is also the first year that the tree we planted  6 years ago (holy shit, that's a long time in hell) has finally yeilded fruit. Too much in fact if that's even possible.

Long sticks are holding branching in place, otherwise they hang so low you can't get out the kitchen door. Still, my hair keeps getting tied up in the twigs. But my teeth feel really clean and my fruit buying budget is on hold since we have enough of our own to last us weeks. Yes, sometimes all it takes is a look out your bedroom window to find a redeeming element in this lovely country.
Hi Ho Hi Ho, (after I finish eating this mango)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Meet Mary

I believe I mentioned that we have some new 2-legged and 4-legged freinds in the house. BTW, turns out the chicken is a rooster, so if anyone has a hankering for some pollo indio for dinner look me up. I am not fond of chickens, but roosters and their friggin' cock a doodle dooing really ruffles my feathers. So yeah, he needs a new home.
I have discovered the name of our other little pet, surprisingly thanks to Sheldon. Yes, in an episode of The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon is enlightening his buddies on the attributes of the biggest rodent known to man. And as I listened I realized that they all sounded very similar to my new brown-haired friend. So friends, I introduce you to my Capybara or watooso sp? as they call it here in the armpit:

And that's Mary, who my son has taken a liking too. I have since learned that these are more aquatic then land animals, can be very friendly and can grow to over 100 pounds. I had to do some research when we lost her for a day.
She roams in the house, and for obvious reasons is not fond of the cat, although that will change once she approaches the 10 pound mark I am sure. But if she roams in the house and gets nervous, she will go into the corridor, and twice we have found her outside hiding behind the lemon tree.
So one day Juanito makes it home from the school and his burning question is where is Mary?. We look under beds and in the garden and behind the leña and everywhere else. No Mary.
This is where I did my research and found out that they like to be in water. So I grabbed the matata sp? and off we strode to the nearest quebrada to see if Mary had found a new home. Nope, she wasn't there.
So we had tears and blame for hours, as my son mourned the loss of his sorta furry new friend. And then, as if nothing had happened, she comes scuttering out from under his bed, straight to the garden to forage for food.
So yes, we still have Mary who one day will be the size of a baby hippo. Happy happy, joy joy.
Hi Ho Hi Ho

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Who Does This?

Or... Why You Should Not Play With Pepper Spray
Or... Why Drunk People Suck

A typical Friday for me is extremely busy. In addition to my main writing gig, where anything can come up, it is the due date of a side job that I stupidly took and now am stuck with. And since I am the queen of procrastination, well you can just imagine.
Fridays have also turned into Juan's get drunk and act stupid day.
Last Friday night I was ignoring him as usual, typing away when I heard him say OW and then a lot of noise in my pila. I continued to ignore him and type until I started to cough, and then sneeze, And then there was this odd taste in my mouth. Okay, somethings up. Walk into the kitchen and immediately cannot breathe. "Juan, What the Fuck is that?"  "The pepper spray" Oh shit. Run to close the door to the room where Juanito was, told him not to move and then pulled the drunken fool to the front of the house.
Then I could hear Juani coughing. Run back through the house and pull him out to the front. Why was it worse? Because the can had a hole and the genius had thrown it into my garden which sits between the kitchen and where Juani was. I grabbed a towel, wrapped it around the still leaking can ran to the front and flung that mother fucker as hard as I could down the street.
As the smoke cleared so to speak, the damage became clearer.
Genius had tried to use the can to open a bottle of beer, which is what punctured the can. He's lucky he's not blind now. The entire side of his face and chest were bright red, including one eye. I guess the saving grace for him was that he was drunk enough to not feel the pain too much, it took only about one hour and 3 showers until he fell to sleep.
Meanwhile, this shit got everywhere. Not thinking, I made myself a cup of coffee this morning and burnt the hell out of my lips. The girl came to clean and I had to send her home because she was coughing too much, and I sent Juani to the neighbors to play while I attempted to find it all and wipe it away. There are still "hot" spots here and there I guess, it was a really big can but we are more or less back to normal now. So there you have it, another Friday night in paradise.
Hi Ho Hi Ho

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

What's New at the Zoo Now

My home is a revolving door of various types of animal life. Some stay for long periods of time, while others, like that damn goat, are fleeting fast memories. At the moment we still have Lucy, and are looking for her mate, the darn useless cat - Ethel.
We also have a very vocal perico that was given to us by a lady around the block. I think 6 turtles, but there could be some babies that haven't shown their face yet.
We also recently acquired a chicken that was offered as payment for a ride. Have I mentioned that I hate chickens? Dirty, bony things that love to haunt me. And some animal that I have no idea what his name is. Juan says it is a guinea pig, but I don't know what the fuck kind of guinea pig he saw back home. This thing reminds me of a small kangaroo. Stands on its hind legs with very short front legs. One day when I figure out how on this computer I will upload a picture to see.. if I haven't found a new home for it before than.
Hi Ho Hi Ho

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Just an Observation - is it Me?

Some may classify me as the slightly obsessive. Years of restaurant work has me rotating everything, including clothes and in my house everything has its place. Not that it doesn't get messy or even dirty, but when it comes to organizing my stuff - let me repeat - everything has its place.
I am now on my 4th house helper so to speak. Just someone to help with the clothes (washer is broke) and help me keep up with the thousands of pounds of polvo that make it into my house. This 3rd one is someone I have known for over 10 years, so I don't think we should have a problem.
But here is the thing. You know how we (obsessive North Americans) decorate our homes? Knick knack here, bric-a-brac there? Well I have that going on, mainly in the front room. Not much Just 6 or 7 shelves of glass stuff that I either brought here from home or my MIL sent. Some (not much) was bought here, and most is being held together by super glue
But that's my pretty place you know? Where I carefully face the elephant pair at a slight angle and the crystal flowers are arranged like a garden. This is also the home to the thousands of pounds of dust that make it into my house.
This means the various women that I have paid to clean dust this area. And they move stuff as they should, but can't seem to put it back. And I don't mean the elephants are at 33 degrees instead of 45, I mean the elephants are on the wrong shelf. Some stuff even ends up on the very top of the shelf, where no one can see it.
What is the deal with that? Is it spite? For some I may say yes, but not for the one I have now, and she is hte biggest offender of this yet. Is it priorities? Like they can't seem to understand why I value these things so much? Or am I just more anal retentive than I realize and cannot adopt to change? If they were rearranged differently, I may say yes, but this is just leave it where they left it when it came time to clean.
Just an observation and reason to pause and remember that I really am from a completely different place, where Cinderella belongs on the 3rd shelf down, face out for the world to see.
Hi Ho Hi Ho

Monday, January 12, 2015

Still Can't Believe My Luck

So it looks as though I already missed 2 days of my 365 straight mission. Not really sure how to even explain the amount of work I suddenly have, but my eyes and fingers actually hurt. So please forgive me (and if you know of anyone who loves to write and wants to make some money give them my email, seriously i have that much to do).
But let's talk about my incredibly find today.
As boys get big it seems they no longer want Pokemon or Dragon thingies emblazed on their book bag. Today was take the kid to centro day so that he can be ready for school in like 4 hours from now. There was a certain sense of time flying by as my baby made it perfectly clear that he no longer was. So we stopped here and there to examine the virtues of various book bags that were what a 10 year thinks of as sophisticated. I had an upper spending limit of ten bucks, so if they said 12 (which most did) but wouldn't take 10 we moved on. It's not that I'm cheap (okay maybe a little bit) but I refuse to be treated like a tourist. After almost six years here that badge is long gone.
The final stop and I felt badly as Juani eyed the blue Nike backpack hanging up. $25 bucks easy I thought. I almost told him not to bother, but the guy brought it down and my son lovingly explored all of the cool pockets. Now the burning question: "12 dollars, but I'll take 10" it was a moment where I actually questioned my understanding of Spanish. Did he just haggle down to my max without me even asking? and on a NIKE bag? I threw that 10 dollar bill at him as fast as I could and we hightailed it out of there before he realized his mistake. 'Cause that had to be a mistake right?
Mistake or not, I'll take that luck and hopefully raise it next time I shop.
Hi Ho Hi Ho

Friday, January 9, 2015


Almost forgot my commitment to blogging today. Well, didn't forget as I have a post it on my computer that says "Did you blog today?" and various others to remind me of stuff I want to write about. But not much time today for all that.
It has been a roller coaster week of work after 2 straight weeks of next to nothin'.
Which leaves me with time for one quick story...
I have not yet registered my son for school. This was supposed to be done in December, during a time when I was in a very heavy "let's just go home" debate with him and did not want to waste my money if he wouldn't be going to school here anyway. For now he wins.
So we were at his bus driver's house on New Years and I asked him when the first day of school was. The 19th he said. Good, that gives me to the 16th to get my ass up there and get him signed up.
So... yesterday was a typical hectic day of running back and forth, writing, and making calls when my cell phone rings. "oh, hello ms. secretary, yes Juanito will be back this year. so sorry i have not been in yet, but will be next week."  "oh" says ms. secretary, school starts Monday" WTF! "really? I thought it was the 19th" "Yes, but we just decided to change it" WTF! You can just randomly change the first day of school 5 days before? Deep breaths Jennifer...
So, in the midst of this incredibly heavy work week, and no serviente, I now have to find the time to get over there, get him registered, and then get to Centro for his bookbag and other supplies. I know, doesn't sound like much, but I have in front of me 20-something articles due by tomorrow night, and then something like a hundred more to do after that. Like I said.. hectic. and one of these days i'll tell the story of how that shit went down.
So sorry this is short and sweet but I am keeping my promise and will get to these post its one of these days.
hi ho hi ho