Living in Juayúa is akin to abusing my digestive tract

Juayua Travel Blog

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Having chicken bussed across crater-littered Central American highways for nearly five months, I'm relatively unchanged. A shade browner, the giant squeeze bottle of sunscreen I lugged from the states the same back-straining deadweight in my pack; and armed with a Spanish language vocabulary sufficient to keep myself fed, sheltered, and swarmed by quickly obsessive females. The kind who begin battering you with lunacy after a week, "¡Eres mi amor!", every time you scurry to the bathroom to relieve the intestinal pressure wrought by ingested parasites a chorus of sobbed "¡Te extraño mucho!"s breaks out in the next room. (To be fair, that might be a simple defense mechanism to drown out the offensive sounds rumbling, tumbling from your gut, invading the apartment through wafer-thin walls.) Those unstable sirens who, mere hours after your first encounter, are comfortable crying in your presence; gushing over your (perceived) sincerity and their luck in stumbling upon the one-in-one-hundred exception to the cruel male rule; singing you love songs in front of the bubbling fountain in central park.

On the other hand, as long as I can suppress comments to the effect of, "Wow, you're really pretty...ummm, insane," I'll at least get a lot of Spanish conversational practice. The cash I save on these free lessons will go a long way in the red light districts across the region.

As it is, I was going to leave Juayúa this morning, but a round of fountain-front tunes and tears convinced me to stay another day. My stomach is sputtering too -- making any rough bus ride a dangerous proposition -- due to any combination of digestive tract abusing factors:
  • Since arriving Thursday night eating twenty-four full-sized peanut butter, banana & honey sandwiches (including 20 over the course of 5 consecutive meals, between meal snacks constituted by grease-dripping pupusas and chocolate cake) on combinations of white, wheat, and french breads.
  • Taking local advice and drinking tap water.
  • My Salvadoran Super Bowl bonanza, substituting a many-pound stack of pupusas from Pupuseria Esmerelda for the usual plates of burgers, nachos, and beer -- downing tres papusas revueltas, an additional one each stuffed with a single ingredient: flor de ayote, pollo, y queso, and something absurd called a Papusa Loca, essentially a maíz-frisbee stuffed with every papusa-loading option (including papelillo, the lone ingredient I'd neglected to involve in the rest of my gluttonous papusa order).
Or, who knows, maybe when Barry and I were splashing around in Pacific at Playa El Tunco, laughing as we slapped water towards each others faces, "Hepatitis, hepatitis," I caught a few contaminated droplets.
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photo by: siri