Stories

I felt rushed during my last post, and therefore was not able to fulfill my every desire to convey a perfect image of my life in Las Barreras. I shall now try to bridge that gap with some story time.

Pasa, but not the raisin kind. So. My host dad and I walked to my friend Rudie’s site, which is located yonder from mine, and decided to stop at the “store” (colmado) on the way home, since having a store be on the way to anything in my village is a rarity. We buy the normal things to account for every healthy human being’s balanced diet – eggs, rice, tomato paste, sugar and “sazon” (bullion cubes of a sort). But, as you are now thinking, one thing is missing: pasta. My host dad doesn’t really think weed anything else, but I know better, so I ask the owner if he has any pasta, since I don’t see it behind the counter. (Keep in mind at colmados one has to ask for everything from behind a counter) The owner looks at me with his face kinda messed up and I know something is up. A great misunderstanding has come upon us, and so it begins… He says “eh?” I say “pasta”. He says “como que, de que tipo?” I say “para comer”. Now my host dad chimes in – it appears that with their teamwork I might finally accomplish my task. “Pasta de dientes!” he says. Toothpaste. Still a little ways to go, I tell myself. “No no, es duro y parece asi (I stick my finger in the shape of macaroni)”. This is clearly not working. “Ahh! Pasas?” Raisins. He grabs a few boxes. I am tempted to just take the boxes of raisins, but I decide to persist. “No no, se hierve y se come con aceite o salsa” – I am basically teaching the man to be a chef now. Finally, several minutes later, after dancing like a monkey and performing a few magic tricks I hear the magical words I have been waiting for: “Wait. You don’t mean ‘espaguetti’, do you?” ‘Espaguetti!’ Duh. Apparently the word pasta only means “paste” in this country. We celebrated, we laughed, we cried. It was as if we understood each other for the first time. I, being flabbergasted by the whole ordeal, proceeded to ask the store owner if spaghetti, macaroni and all other types of noodly goodness that exists in this country are really not called ‘pasta’. “No,” he said at first, but then he turned all pensive and suddenly changed his mind. “No, its not pasta, its ‘pasa'”. ‘Pasa.’ A poorly pronounced version of ‘pasta’, and one that literally means ‘raisin’ in Spanish. I think I’ll just stick to the name ‘espaguetti’.

Old man’s wiener. This is a story about how an old man nearly showed me his wiener. That’s right, he almost unzipped his pants, pulled down his underwear and revealed his glory to me. But do not fret, he did not. The old man is one of the older guys in town (duh) and definitely seemed a bit crazy to me at first. I headed to his house to interview him as he barked orders at the man who currently works his land. He was seriously frank with me and wasn’t shy to tell me exactly how things were going for him, which was great, except…. When we started talking about health, he took every opportunity to start talking about what I have now assumed to be a urinary infection of some sort. He told me about all the trips to different hospitals and doctors and how it is still not better. So, naturally, he eventually reached a point of having talked about the problem so much that he stood up and asked if I wanted to see ‘it’. I of course declined but he was already in the act. He was undoing his belt while saying “we’re all men here”. By the time he got to unbuttoning his pants I had to yell “I am not a medical professional I swear!” to stop him. It was a close call.

Fin. For now.

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