Thursday, October 30, 2014

Cab rides, dancing and early mornings...

Shar and I had the idea of visiting another city while on vacation.  The smart thing would be to take the bus.  Of course, it would be timely and if we could secure tickets at a hotel as opposed to the bus station, even better.  However, we were not fortunate in that regard.  We found a taxi and headed to the station.
We entered the building and took in the other people in line.  About 40 people and one ticket agent.  We wanted to be positive but it looked dire.  Our cabbie agreed to wait before we knew we were looking at 2-3 hours in a line.  I asked our driver if he knew of anyone we could hire to drive us to the other city.  He found someone and we were able to leave the line after a 45 minute wait.  During that time, we did not move.  We left, knowing, the agent was still assisting the one person.  Yuck!
We chose to celebrate our success by inviting our driver to accompany us for a drink or two.  We communicated in spanglish and enjoyed the mojitos and music.
Afterwards, we invited Ronnie to lunch.  Figured, why not?  He might know of a few good places and he was kind.  We drank some wine and feasted.  I had a seafood stew with rice.  Not bad and the bread continued to disappoint.
Ronnie took off to take more fares and Shar and I meandered through the city.  We came across a few con artists and got sucked in for $40.  I wish that I wasn't so trusting, sometimes.  Didn't help that Shar also was taken in.  In the entire scheme of things, it wasn't that terrible.  $40 and we were off to another adventure.
We found an upstairs bar and drank a few russian beers.  Gorgeous scenery and I was able to calm down from the con artist debacle.  We met a palestinian who had been traveling with her parents.  She offered a room in her rental and although it sounded great, we liked our current room.  Plus, who knew where she was staying or what could happen.  At least at Juan's place, we knew we were safe and secure.  It was clean, had a/c and was the entire floor of a building.
We bid her adieu and returned to Juan's place.  We had arranged salsa dancing with Ronnie and one of his friends.  We waited for them to pick us up.  Secretly, I hoped that they would back out.  I was tired and could use a great night of sleep.  Plus, our taxi would pick us up at 9 to head to Trinidad.  Meaning, we would need to be up by 7:30 to shower, pack, find coffee and eat.
Well, they picked us up.  We headed to the salsa bar and were the only ones in the bar.  Lame.  They kept telling us that the place would be packed in a few hours.  I had little faith.
We drank a beer and waited.  Eventually, all of the tables were full and this woman was introduced on the stage.  I thought, finally.  We can dance for an hour and leave.  Not the case.  This woman sang for an hour.  She had a lovely voice but she was a lounge singer.  No dancing involved.  Shar and I looked at each other and thought--what about dancing?
She finished and then tables were moved and salsa dancing ensued.  Finally!  Of course, my dance partner is super latin and full of machismo.  He kept telling me--relax.  Relax.  Relax.  It was super uncomfortable.  I don't like being told what to do.  So, we switched partners and the music changed.  We danced til 3:30.  It was great and I was enjoying myself.  However, that early morning cab ride loomed.  We convinced the guys that we were wanting to leave.  Thankfully, they agreed.  We headed back to his cab and found a flat tire.  Awesome.
I think Ronnie knew that that would happen as he had a spare ready to go.  I remember him picking that up earlier in the day.  They dropped us off around 4 and I slept til 7:30.  At which point, I recognized that I should have showered prior to going to bed.  I had grime, sweat and felt it in the morning.  Gross!
After packing up, we hoped to locate coffee and breakfast.  No such luck.  Most of the places opened at 10 am or we found dulcerias that had pastries but no coffee.  Short on time we settled for the dulceria.  Mistake.  The pastry was terrible.  Yet, it was our only option if we wanted to meet our driver on time.
I think the lesson of the experience was that cabbies can dance.  That was one of the highlights of the trip for sure.  I could have kept dancing too.  Now, back in SF, I want to go dancing.  I might have to venture to Denver or Phoenix to make that happen.  SF doesn't have many options for this exercise.  Oh, and the bread on the island was universally bad.  There was not one restaurant or homestay that offered decent bread.  It would be easy to be g.f. there for sure.
I am off to work.  Cheers!

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