The friend who was replaced by by pastries.

Juayua Travel Blog

 › entry 31 of 36 › view all entries
My attempts to keep Barry in Central America, questions designed to stimulate a simple missed flight or a fabricated kidnapping -- "So you're really flying home Friday? Soccer season doesn't start until the fall, right?" -- failed to germinate. "So, yeah, how are your girlfriend's pupusas?" garnered, at least, a barely perceptible clinch of the tummy. We split in San Salvador's Terminal de Occidente this morning, sharing first a late breakfast: casamiento, carne, y tortillas, all swimming, of course, in vinegary platebound puddles of curtido heaped from the gallon-sized plastic containers enlivening every table, long since emptied of their original contents and stripped of their corresponding labellings, murky ecosystems swimming with vegetables and chiles and germs from every grubby hand that shares every jug's half-submerged community ladle. And, for my beverage, the 10:30am beer.

Without Barry's banter about fantasy novels and time travel I'll be filling my time with pastries. I'm back in Juayúa, where Pasteleria Anthony's creativity in shaping sugary dough into new shapes to be filled with creams, then glazed, iced, and or sprinkled with coconut flakes continues to confound my waking promises to eat healthily. This afternoon I was only "taking a look." Then my finger uncurled like a puppet aroused, indicating an on-all-sides white-iced cube of (to be discovered after that first rewarding chomp) yellow cake, sprinkled with coconut cakes, topped with a fluff-fence of light cream encircling a strawberry swimming in a swampthick pool of chocolate.

"¿Quieres otro?" mocked the pastry queen behind her glass case. Mouthwatering activated by a remote controller shaped bar with a white chocolate face and a caramel-color packed body, indicating another I stammered, "¿Que vale?"

"Cincuenta centavos mas." And so, sold by caramel, I walked out of Pasteleria Anthony's a dollar poorer but richer in saturated fats, simple sugars and Spanish practice. Seated on a bench surrounding the central park fountain, eyed by jealous kids still attended by health-monitoring mothers, I extracted the pastries from my bag. The cakeish cube was delicious, but tonguetip inspection of the caramel bar revealed complexities, layers of sugary goodness, I hadn't before detected. The white chocolate top was drizzled with meandering creeks of caramel, the density of the bar comprised of delicate sheets of baklava-thin pastry dough enveloping a wealth of dulce de leche, so much that globs dripped out the sides and back like an overloaded hamburger with each and every bite.

Hours later, offended by lumbering gringo-blimps oozing human skinglaze from their pores, I bought two loaves of bread, a jar of peanut butter and a bag of bananas. The purchase satisfied the demands of the the first dream I have remembered in weeks, and -- if I can pace myself with four peanut butter and banana sandwiches every meal, as was accomplished at dinner tonight -- I might be able to stuff my stomach into pastry submission until I venture back into pastry-poorer regions.
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photo by: siri