Sunday, September 16, 2007

Day 14: Last Day; El Yaque Recap

I went windsurfing and jammed a toe on my left foot. Toe is so purple it looks like it has a black eye. Hope it's not broken.

Was planning on sentimental good-by dinner at tiki bar. I get there at 8:30. They say the kitchen is closed and they're not serving anymore food. Theo engaged in animated conversation and doesn't look up. Sentimental guy that Theo.

I go back to the pizza joint and order my favorite dish: linguine with mystery seafood. I think it is octopus because there are usually little suction cups in the topping.

My favorite waiter serves me. The guy is about 60 with receeding white hair, medium dark tan. I like him because he acts as if he works in a Michelin-rated restaurant in Paris instead of a pizza joint in El Yaque. He does everything with a classy flourish.
- when my dish comes, he squeezes a fresh lime over it and then mixes up the pasta and juice. He moves his hands as if he were conducting an orchestra.
- when I'm done, he brings tooth picks (maybe he just gets grossed out watching me pick octupus out of my teeth with the tines of my fork)
- he brings complimentary liquer
It's nice to see someone who takes pride in a job they've probably been doing for years.

Unexpected dinner show:
The pizza joint is by the side of the main road and has some faux Roman pillars. Half way through my meal a dog wanders in. He heads to the pillar next to my table. He sniffs. He lifts his leg. I yell at him. He retracts his leg. He goes to other side of the pillar where I can't reach him with my butter knife. He finishes what he started.

El Yaque Recap:

I) Brushes with Death

- encounters with wild animals: Multiple
bats, ticks, poisonous toads, disease carrying mosquitos, feral dogs, scary grasshopper

- third world airplane flights with clear mystery liquid dripping from ceiling: 1

- food poisoning: 0

- bad water: avoided

II) Miscelleneous Health issues

- ibuprofen consumed: 24

- injuries: 2 toes stubbed, both healing

- hangovers: 1

III) Social life

- dates: 0

- drinking buddies I'll probably never see again: 6

- attractive bartenders I overtipped to flirt with me: 2

- attractive bartenders who turned out to be owner's girlfriend: 1

- unattractive bartender who flirted with me for free.

IV) Equipment Failures:

- waterproof bags to hold documents and cash while windsurfed that leaked: 2

- sunglass nosepad that broke off: 1 (repaired with Superglue)

Bottom line on El Yaque: I'd go back in a second
- Pros: inexpensive, good windsurfing, gorgeous beach, exotic location
- Cons: not much else to do besides windsurf during off season (when I went)