I have two funny stories I forgot to tell from last night. We were looking at the menu at the restaurant and I pointed out one of the entrees to Pamela, "Mmmm . . . conejo!" Pamela wrinkled her nose and said, "Yuck! Rabbit!" She has an usual way of eating French fries: she chops up her hamburger and tops her fries with that. Then, she adds the vegetables, pickles, catsup, mustard, and mayo in layers. I warned our dinner companions about how gross it was, and then Javier pipes up, "I do that too only I add curry on top!" Never mind . . .
Whenever Pamela visits her grandmother or her aunts, she loves plopping herself on the bed in the master bedroom and watching television. So, we came up with a new motto for her: "Mi cama es su cama" (cama means bed in case you haven't figured that out). We both slept very soundly and, fortunately, Steve's sister Julie is like her brother and niece. Pamela woke up at four in the morning but, since Julie planned to wake up thirty minutes later, it was no problemo. In the morning, Pamela ate more pupusas and plantano chips (plaintains look like big bananas with black spots and, if you eat them raw, your stomach will never forgive you). As you can see in the photo, we spent the morning relaxing as Pamela calls it while her aunt was at school, teaching fifth graders.
Patty picked us up and dropped us off at the mall while she ran to the bank. San Salvador, very crowded with no room to grow, has very unusual architecture. The owners of the mall bought a residential house with large grounds and gardens. They decided to keep the house, turn it into shops, and build three levels of shops around it. No mall is complete without a Catholic chapel, which holds mass daily at 12:30. When it first opened seven years ago, they had an ice skating rink and carousel on the third level. The carousel is still there.
Patty joined us later and we enjoyed some fresh limonada before heading out to a delicatessan called Kreef for lunch. Pamela ate hamburgesa sin queso y pan y papas fritas. You'll never guess what I ate, so I will tell you: bratwurst, sauerkraut and pretzels--in El Salvador! Our waiter, who spoke perfect English, waited on us so patiently and so attentively. He brought Pamela's hamburger and fries, beautifully arranged. She made her usual mess, took one bite, and very loudly proclaimed, "This is disgusting!" Within about a minute, he showed up a tad nervous, "Is everything okay?" We told him that it was wonderful and then we laughed our heads off when he left. Pamela did redeem herself and ate the entire plate of food.
After lunch, we went to check out Javier's apartment, which is in the middle of a major remodel. Pamela was fascinated by the vines growing inside the building. My thought was WWTD . . . "What would Tarzan do?"
Life in San Salvador is an adventure. We went to dinner with Steve's sisters, a niece and her husband and child, and a friend. Everything in El Salvador is gated, sometimes double gated. Julie, Pamela, and I were trapped at the apartment because the gate was jammed. We called Patty and she picked us up. The roads are full of pot holes and, as we drove by one, I noticed a construction worker standing in one. The ground was level with his knees. There are hardly any stoplights and the flow is controlled by going from one round-about to another. The law of the jungle rules here, and I actually saw a bus do a U-turn on a busy street. Patty's car is not in good shape. She explained that Javier wrecked it. How? He was driving to pick her up from the airport, a huge boulder tumbled onto the road, and he could do nothing to avoid it. Rather than getting nervous, I try to imagine this is Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.
I finally got to meet my great-nephew, Pablito, cute and cuddly as a young hobbit with his big eyes and curly hair. He loves catsup with his French fries and may go the way of Pamela and Javier when he grows up. He kept stealing my fries in between moments of being absolutely charming.
Dinner at Tucson Steakhouse
Views from Different Apartments
Before closing, I wanted to share something I had hoped to find: stories in Spanish on a CD. We found two, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and Tom Thumb. I will be putting them to good use in the curriculum for Pamela to pick up more Spanish.