I started reading my book today, Mediodía de Frontera by Claudia Hernández, a collection of magic realist short stories set in the aftermath of the Salvadoran civil war. I first heard of the book in Chicago, while searching information online about the little country in which I’d been waiting not many hours before; waiting in San Salvador airport, looking into the dark glass of my departure gate because there was nothing else to do, just my own reflection to look at, this thinker’s face, the same face a Czech stripper had once described as a nice face, looking and waiting and not really believing that it was all over.
Following on from the last post which touched very loosely on manners and etiquette, I remember this time in Laos.
We were doing the homestay thing for a night in a rural village. To get there we had to do an arse-destroying 50km on a bicycle, through landscapes of rice paddies and shacks, visiting local villages on the way, learning how they make paper from bamboo, whisky from rice, obtain silk from worms. The villages like time somehow got stuck a long time ago. The houses with thatch roofs and bamboo walls, dim inside smelling of woodsmoke and on the naked packed mud floor piles of firewood. Charred pots and pans hung from the ceiling or walls, wood or woven furnishings, occasionally a tv.
We stayed a night in El Tunco. It was a really good night, I’d had a lot of fun. Boxhead had gotten up early to watch the football, but because nobody in El Tunco had the rights to watch it legally he was forced to stream it in the hostel bar. When he came to see me at half-time, I was panicking, trying to get out of the room in time for check-out. He told me that the stream wasn’t too good, and he couldn’t really tell me what had happened because he didn’t actually know. When I walked into the bar not long afterwards, Chelsea were beating Manchester United 1-0. I laughed in his face. “HAHAHAHAHA!”
It’s been a while since I’ve written anything on here, so I want to apologise to all my die-hard fans (mum). I’ve been distracted, I guess. But I do have a story to tell, and here it is.
*WARNING* There might actually be some useful information contained in this post, somewhere (at last). Right or wrong, who the hell knows.