May 29. San Salvador.

I say goodbye to the lady and her father, and jump on a bus to Santa Rosa. I’m extremely cautious when the driver tells me the fare was one dollar. I double-check and find out the real fare is 80 cents.
“Es facil mentir a un gringo. Porque son locos, los gringos” I say, pointing at my forehead with my finger. I won’t be ripped of another cent in my life. It’s common and natural reaction after my humiliation yesterday, but I still think I could get something more from it. The correction of the bus fare does give me some satisfaction though.

I will go straight to San Salvador, Santa Tecla (an adjacent city southwest of the capital) to meet my host Amado. He is a very friendly person. I can stay in a room upstairs and have a shower I could really use. So I’d just made myself comfortable as another couchsurfer enters. It’s Jason from San Francisco. He travels around spontaneously on his 1000-cc BMW bike. It’s a hell of a machine he tells me. He has a huge scar on his belly I can’t help to see when he walks around without his shirt on. Motorcycle accident, many years ago. I like brave explorers with no fear of dying and wish him and art-moto best of luck.

We have lunch together in a typical Salvadorian lunchroom, and visit the town hall of the Santa Tecla municipality which has nice artwork on display. After that, I excuse myself and go to a shopping mall (there are plenty of them here in San Salvador) to write and buy a plane ticket. I won’t tell you what the destination is to keep this story at least a little bit exciting.

Dinner consists of rice with tomato sauce and a simple yet delicious avocado-tomato-lime salad Jason has prepared. We intend to drink something in a bar, but we soon find out that the neighbourhood dies out at night. There are a lot of people sleeping on the street, they are lying here peacefully between the colonial columns and open garbage bags. Dogs look for food between the pile of human leftovers. This is the other face of this city, and it makes us go home quietly.

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Published by

Kamiel Choi

Dutch philosopher and poet, sometimes sharing thoughts on the internet.

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