{14.6.14} Doing the Tourist Thang

Today brought much adventure and escape from the squelching heat of San Salvador. It started with an excursion to Cafe Mirador up a bit on a mountain/volcano overlooking the city where the air was muy fresco and the view spectacular. We checked out a coffee museum there where there were a half dozen machines to prepare the coffee (and help women do it by hand) to enhance their price discrimination potential (machines to blow air under the coffee where smaller beans would rise higher and be sold for less).

Cafe Mirador (free view if you pretend to buy expensive coffee)

no words

Then back to the house for lunch (fresh tortillas, fried chicken and chow mein anyone?) and off to Puerta del Diablo. (no, I did not go on the zipline, ostensibly because the cables looked a wee bit rickety, but in reality because I was quite skeerd) We climbed to the top (with many breaks to huff and puff) and got up there just as the neblina (fog/clouds) moved over everything below so that it felt like we were on an island floating on a cloud in Pandora.

El Salvador del Mundo (patron saint of El Salvador)

After some excellent pupusas at a pupuseria nearby, we drove home via a lookout point and the US embassy. Leslie and David got a kick out of hearing that our national anthem got its start as a drinking song, and were aghast that both of us had to cast about a bit for the tune when asked to sing it.

Some things I noticed today:

  • you pay for everything with coins, not bills. “cuesta mas” (it costs more) to accept paper money because it has a tendency to disintegrate here (the country doesn’t have a stable currency so uses US money)
  • in the US, cool fonts are like Helvetica, narrow and angular. here, all the lettering has rounded edges and looks much more friendly
Tomorrow off to church and then San Ignacio, where we’ll prepare for our first day of school on Monday. Ai yai yai! 

Solid car sleeper, this one (served him well today)

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Soren Hauge says:

    An island floating on a cloud … above the squelching heat. That's vivid, muy llamativo. May your travels to another lugar fresco be safe.


  2. Kat says:

    Your trying to sing the national anthem reminds me of when Soren and I were asked to sing patriotic songs at the North American Cultural Center in Chillan, Chile, where they were celebrating the 4th of July. We couldn't quite stomach the Star Spangled Banner, so we sang America the Beautiful and The Power and the Glory instead — less martial, more humble. As I recall we also taught the assembled multitude “She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain” with all the hand motions and sound effects.


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