Thursday, September 6, 2007

Day 6: Live Slow

Apparently, the El Yaque motto is "Live Slow, Sail Fast." It´s on a lot of t-shirts worn by locals and visitors alike.

Today, I lived slow:
1) no windsurfing as hands and feet are sore from being saturated in very warm salt water for 4-5 hours a day. Skin is peeling off my feet because I wear neoprene booties to protect my feet from sun, sea urchins, street urchins, zebra fish, stone fish, sand fleas, glass, nails, falling windsurfing equipment and other dangers of the deep. The booties stay wet until I remove them, so its like soaking your feet in a warm salt bath for 4 hours -- skin gets wrinkled and soft and peels like wet paper.

2) went to tiki bar for a beer
- watched two cats fight
- watched two waiters fight
- watched 4 local police patrol the beach.
- went for an easy run

As I ran out of town, the scenery start to change to more of third-world trailer park look.
- dwellings with corrugated steel roofs, no doors, and large families staying in them.
- open fields strewn with garbage that smelled like rotting fish heads.
- dogs running loose
- barefoot kids running loose

Time for today´s big decision: where to go for dinner.

Two strategies to consider for meeting some people.
1) go to the same place, get to know staff and regulars
2) experiment with different places in hopes of meeting some people.

I choose option 1) and go to favorite tiki bar:
- food is good.
- you can order from the bar
(as a lone person, sitting at a table by yourself can be a real drag. Might as well put a sign on the table that says "the person sitting here by himself is a loser."
- Two very attractive bartenders. (they´re more than half my age and don´t speak any English. Yes, things have gotten that desperate.) One of them wears a flimsy more revealing outfit every night. Tonight´s outfit looks like a good breeze might rip the whole thing off her body.

There´s a guy sitting at the end of the bar. I´ve seen him before. He speaks English, as well as Spanish. We´ll call him Theo. He´s late 40´s early 50´s and chats with customers, goes behind the bar for occasional drink for himself. He is heavy set and smokes cigars. We´re both watching US Open on the TV. We start talking. Turns out he´s one of the owners. He talks about his adventures in Margarita (being ripped off in broad daylight, having prior businesses shut down, living last decade on this island.)

Then the girl in the revealing outfit comes over and sits on his lap. (I guess they´re not big on sexual harrassment down here.) Then she goes back to work.Then she comes back with something hidden in her hands. She shows him a beautiful, giant moth. She pets it. Instead of petting it, he gives it a nasty flick. Nice guy, this Theo.

She leaves and he starts talking again. He says that a bunch of local business owners and friends may be getting together the following night to drink and party. He says something about an exotic house, something about it being inside a giant tree. Then he invites me to join him and the gang. I have visions of a crazy Latin party with his hot bartenders getting hammered and dancing on the furniture. He says if it´s going to happen, we´ll need to leave around 5:30 the next day.