Well, because Taco Bell has a half off deal on all their burritos, Chalupas, and tacos, my companion and I have taken advantage of this special offer for the last two weeks. When your 50 peso taco becomes a 25 peso taco, there is cause for much rejoicing. But Hna. Rodriguez wasn´t completely content. "What is this?" she asked, pointing to the paper that covers the brown food trays used for those who want to stay and eat inside (with air conditioning and the occasional 80´s tune). She pointed specifically to a rather beautiful picture of a crunchy taco. I know what a taco is, and I know she does, so using my college degree to look below the surface of her question, I knew she was referring to the presentation of said taco. "Well," I told her, "there´s a saying in English- 'you get what you pay for.'"
"Uh, this IS what I paid for," she insisted, pointing again to the falsely advertised taco. I wasn´t so disturbed, perhaps because to me, it´s really what´s on the inside that counts. I didn´t even really take the time to look at my food. It went from wrapper to mouth in one fluid motion. But what did surprise me is that my companion was so distressed about the false advertising. I feel like Taco Bell is the least of the offenders in this case. Allow me to explain. In this country, there are an unnatural amount of salons. What may look like a normal one-story dwelling may very well contain a salon inside. Women here go to the salon, dare I say it, even more frequently than women in the states. And then, to keep their ´Do looking fresh ´n fab, they tuvi it (see former blog entry for Tuvi instructions). But there are salons that are a little more upper crust as well, ones that have signs and everything declaring that, in fact, they know how to cut your hair and are happy to do so. And many of these signs have images of some well known clients. I have passed by one salon that cuts Taylor Lautner´s hair. A few around here have done wonders with Rachel Bilson. And the crowd favorites seem to be Beyonce and Hillary Duff. I have seen the same images of these stars in various salons in various areas where I have served. First of all, I find it difficult to believe that Beyonce flies to the D.R. to cut her hair. I find it less likely that she picks salons at random to do so. So, forgive me dear companion, but I find THAT type of false advertising way more disheartening than my misshapen taco. There goes my dream of looking over from my comfy salon seat to find my good friend Beyonce getting her hairs did as well. But considering that this country is borderline third world, I feel like the Beyonces and the Hillarys can cut these salons a break and loan them there images. If I ever get famous by some freak accident, I would happily do the same.
Well, on to things that really matter. Like why I haven´t posted pics on here in a month of Sundays. If I haven´t made it perfectly clear that this Internet cafe blows, I will reiterate: It is shoddy. It is at the bottom of the cow patty pile. It has no shame. And it definitely doesn´t have any CD or DVD playing units, so I have no where to insert my CDs full of images of my D.R. life. So, for the present, you will just have to use your wonderful, God-given imaginations. If you can imagine a small yellow stall with a 1990s IBM computer WITHOUT a CD or DVD drive, you´re doing remarkably well. So to make a short story long, the "How to do in the D.R." and other photo-based adventures are temporarily on hold. Lo siento for the inconvenience.
As for close encounters of the human kind, I have more information to share about our reference who is a contractor for painters. Or sea, he sells art for the artist. I´m sure that has a title, but my English words are leaving me like Ben Affleck left on a jet plane. And I don´t know if they´ll be back again. But anyway, I am going to call this guy Guru Max because, even though he claims he wants to hear more about the church, I have a sneaking suspicion he just wants to give us advice. When we passed by on Friday, I apologized that we hadn´t passed by the day before as planned, but I´d had some upset stomach issues. After his look of concern, he then told me in my face he could read pain and longing. My face is my soul´s window. I´m far from home and miss friends and family. This is causing my stomach to toss and turn. I have to tell myself I´m well, and so I will be. That´s how Guru Max rolls, at least. He hasn´t visited the doctor in years. After this insightful discourse, my companion and I went into his office to hopefully start teaching him about the Restoration of the church. We were promptly joined by his female lawyer friend, and both he and she took turns receiving calls from everyone and their dog during the duration of the lesson. After one call in particular, the Good Guru told me he´d just been invited by a friend to go swimming and to work out with him at the gym. But he assured us that he informed said friend that he was busy learning of God with a friend, and he feels that he would more happily pass the time with us. O sea, he feels that in whatever you´re doing, therein lies your happiness. Some people would find talking about God less interesting than buffing your muscles, but to him, your current state is your happiness. I have to admit, this guy would write a heck of a book. I coldn´t agree with everything he said, but I couldn´t disagree with a lot of it either. I often here people from back home tell me their life is boring. But to me, what I hear always sounds interesting and something I wish I could be doing. Just your typical case of "it surely must be more interesting on the other side of the island" (since I´m actually living on one, that could be true, for all I know). But I highly suspect we sometimes live more interesting lives than we give ourselves credit for. If you don´t believe me, take it from the Guru.
And, the lesson attempt gone awry for the week: our dearly beloved Millie and Arnold. We passed by Saturday night as we´d promised, only to find Millie and a police officer shouting heartily at each other. Um, awkward. What to do in such a situation? Well, if you´re Hna. Rodriguez and I, apparently, since you´ve already been seen, you give a tentative wave and an Hola, to which you receive the response, "can´t you see I´m busy." Yes, yes we can. I guess we´ll come back... later? Never? Needless to say, we didn´t stick around to find out who or what had caused the commotion. I was, however, intrigued to note that Arnold was nowhere to be found, and considering he´s always in the house, I couldn´t help but be curious (ok, considering the situation in general, I couldn´t help but be curious).
I also can´t help the fact that my time is up, the gig is up, I´m signing off... but not without wishing you all a Happy Fall. My favorite season has only just begun! Ok, I´ll quit quoting songs, and let you all go your own way... MUHAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh, and a hundred points to Griffyndor for those who can actually recognize said quotes.
Never can say goodbye,
Hermana Sweeney "The Fearless" (Except on Sunays)