New week & few new students. Rob, a middle aged building contractor with a fair amount of Spanish, arrived from his home Miami. Quite opinionated about politics; especially the current crop of candidates and about a universal health one-payer system. Adamantly against it. Christina from Moscow teeny and lively. Speaks enough English but novice in Spanish. Vino, a big bearded character with braces, arrived from Brazil like a tornado on non-stop replay. Almost never stops talking but okay because he’s so funny. We share
grammar class with Alexander from Belgium—handsome, tall, and mannered. Any girl could easily take him to parents—sorry, though, he has a girlfriend who’s meeting him here in a week. All through class we laugh at ourselves. Tom came from somewhere-I have to find out. Angela, from L.A, just graduated college. She hates rain and loves sun. Denise is still here.
Have darling Fiorella instructing again this week but in conversation class with Denise and Alexander. We have quite the conversations, translating expressions in three languages and learning about each other. I want to bring Fiorella home. The grammar instructor, Louisa, is most serious. Vino, Alexander and I have quickly learned our inadequacies in conjugations. My private hour goes far too fast. Diana and I talk about all life stories. She wanted to know about my Spanish teacher in Seattle. Well, that Marina story took almost a whole hour. Such a soap opera, or Novella in Spanish.
On my walk to school I pass a blue wood booth which disappears at night. The man in it repairs shoes on the street, right across from the medical school and hospital. Seems always busy. Smart guy. I’ve seen a variety of these such as an eyeglass repair cart where screws get replaced and glasses straightened. Outside the Central Mercado a man pumped a bicycle wheel to sharpen knives.
Speaking of: We visited the Mercado as a group. As usual at markets I loved it; talked to stand owners, tried a dried banana chip – not sugary. In many shops the veggies can be bought cut up. The guy cutting carrots was delighted to chat. He said the women like it. Throw a package in a pot with chicken and rice and, voila, you’ve got dinner.
Earthquake signs abound. Here’s a sign and a market map of where to go in case of earthquake. Not sure you’d have time to study it but some municipal person thought it a good idea.
The live maggot looking things in the photo shows a product sold at the stands. I didn’t purchase any. In contrast a woman selling the two most popular national treats, usually mixed together, had people lining up for the sweet, purple mazamorra morada, a semi-liquidy warm soupy sauce of various fruits that people combine with arroz con leche and stir it up. Very sweet and tasty. Not having it would be like going to Seattle and not having salmon.
Neighborhoods around the market fall into the category of run-down, being abandoned, living in squalor. Great otherwise.
Next we walked to Inca Market, a typical tourist area with the usual wool goods and native made jewelry, bags etc. A salesman in a shop asked where I was from. When I told him Seattle, he screeched, “SEAHAWKS!” He hadn’t been to a game but did visit Seattle last year with his brother. Giant sports fan.
Most of group followed up at a bar. We ordered the special: 6 bottles of beer for the cost of five. BIG bottles. Christina and Rob don’t drink. I had one glass. The other three guys drank the rest and ordered another set. No food. I drank so little compared to them, they wouldn’t let me even leave a tip. I walked home, had a typical home meal of rice, a whipped potato and spinach sauce-no comment!—and about 2 ounces of fish. More homework and collapsed as if I’d slurped down a couple of spiked mozamorra moradas.