24.3.06

Thirty-Trente-Treinta

I turned 30 on the day after the Ides of March and the day before St. Patrick's Day. The only real difference I can see is that my gotee seems to be thicker, but it could just be soup...

I spent my birthday morning teaching English and Music to grades 8-10. I then abruptly packed and I set out with my wife Amber, my son Blaise, my sister Saison (who was visiting us for a week), and my friend Michelle (who works with us here in Guatemala) on a very hot journey to El Salvador. It's March, dry and hot March. Blaise is a fantastic traveller fortunately. Cool, refreshing licuados were welcomed at the 100 km mark in El Rancho. Then we drove through Zacapa and Esquipulas before arriving at the El Salvadorean border.

We drove by about 35 tractor trailer trucks at the border to get to immigration. Not organized. I had to park the car in two different places on the El Salvador side after being told to move each time. It costs US$10/each (at least it cost us that much) to enter the country. This means we had to exchange money with the only money changer around - at an aweful rate (1.3 when it should have been closer to 1.2). After an hour at the border, we drove a pleasantly double lane highway to Santa Ana, the recommended tourist city. I do not recommend Santa Ana to tourists. There is nothing there. We wandered around the streets after sunset in our sweaty blue car for half an hour until we arrived at the Hotel International. There were maps on the wall leather couches in the lobby. There was also no water and no lights in our bathroom. Saison and Michelle's room didn't have a toilet seat. The rooms were US$20 each.

We set out to find some food, and after the ladies made me feel bad for wanting to eat in the modern mall food court, I gave in and we went to Pizza Hut. We enjoyed some classic music and watching a very enthusiastic table washer. A strange little girl rested her head on our table while I blew out my candles. Balloons fascinated Blaise, until he popped one - did he every scream!

I managed to use the birthday guilt thing with the girls and so, though we were all really tired (especially me), I beat them all at Settlers of Catan.

Thanks to for all the birthday wishes on email and the 2 phone calls. Cheers!

2 comments:

Sirdar said...

Happy Birthday!! 30...oh to be 30 again. I would have only had Jacinta as my baby girl. Traftan would I think have been in the oven. My body wouldn't be aching as much. Enjoy 30. Hope the journey to 40 is great!!

littledeb_04@yahoo.ca said...

What a hilarious birthday story...and memory! You'll be telling about that one for a long while. I was happy to see video footage of it as well from Saison. To add your comments to it I was laughing my head off this morning. Ah Life!