Monday, March 16, 2009

the enchanted life of a budget travel writer

The enchanted life of a budget travel writer
A cockroach-colored floor is a scary sight. Especially when you open the dank windowless bathroom of a cheap hotel room and the place comes alive with critters. I don't want to be a wimp, but one roach was so big that I thought it would bench press my shoe if I tried to squash it. The bathroom door will remain closed until I can stop thinking about the Steven King movie Creepshow where hordes of roaches consume someone alive. Strange bumps are emanating from behind the door, and I can imagine a hearty colectivo of cucarachas, the gargantuan and the itsy bitsy, all linking legs to rush the door. And after a 10-hour bus ride, I really really want to wash my face.
A trio of high school girls tracked me down a half block from the public library here in Puerto Ayacucho, hoping I spoke English. We sat down together for about half an hour, and I translated a passage on how to do mouth to mouth resuscitation. After a few minutes, a half dozen of their friends had crowded 'round, and we took turns sounding out funny English words that don't sound anything like they would in Spanish. I'm on a mission to teach Spanish-speakers how to pronounce "th" (stick out your tongue!) so my name doesn't get mangled so badly.

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