December 31, 2006

Interesting links, December 31

We've been busy lately. El Jefe is designing a chicken coop (article to come, I'm sure) and I've been busy helping (with my vast knowledge of chicken coops − thanks to Google) and busy .... well, being sick and lazy. I am feeling better now for those of you who have asked − and thanks for asking!

Here are a few things I've been reading lately. Some shocking, some fun, all interesting.

Downright Terrifying Bus robberies aren't such a unusual experience in Honduras but a few weeks ago, one of the luxury buses was hijacked to a deserted country road. The passengers were stripped of their clothes and robbed by gunmen armed with shotguns. The author of the Andiamo Log blog tells of his firsthand experience as a passenger the bus. It's a long article, the first half of which tells of his sailboat almost being wrecked by a careless dock worker in La Ceiba. The second half relates the bus hijacking. (You'll get a "Forbidden" notice accusing you of being a spammer when you click the link. Just click "bypass this message", and it will let you in.)

Melanie is a Peace Corps volunteer in the small town of Concepción Sur, Honduras, teaching AIDS/HIV prevention. This article is a summary of the highlights and lowlights of her year and a half Peace Corps experience to date. Some funny stuff there.

Spanglish is pretty common, both here and in the USA, and both from Gringos and Latinos. 'Engrish' was a new one to me. devotes itself to making fun of Japanese stores and products that didn't quite check their English translation or use it an appropriate way. AND, before you start thinking, "Not politically correct!," the site is not making fun of people.

One of my favorites was in the 'Adult' section (adult words, not porn). It was picture of an upscale-looking women's clothing store whose big slogan on the awning is "Make yourself ... f***ing lovely." Check out the 'Recent Discoveries,' too. It's pretty funny.

Happy New Year
to all of you!

December 30, 2006

Honduran telephone system to change

We don't have regional telephone area codes in Honduras. The entire country is area code 504, which shouldn't be a problem since we only have about 900,000 phone numbers. It would be half that number if it wasn't for the cell phone companies.

Originally the numbering system started out pretty organized. A 7-digit La Ceiba number starts with 4, San Pedro 5, Tegucigalpa 2, and so on.

When the first cell phone company came, all cell phone numbers started with 9. That was convenient to know, since most people will not return a call to a cell phone, knowing that it costs a little bit more. In fact, many companies have enabled call blocking to cell phone numbers so that they physically can't call customers who only have a cell phone.

After several years, a second cell phone company was allowed to come in and they received the numbers starting with 3 and later the first cell phone company was also given numbers starting with 8.

There is also one or more satellite phone companies. Some parts of the country can't be reached by landlines or cell phones, but I read an ad in the newspaper indicating that these satellite calls, even local, are US $1 PER MINUTE! Maybe I misunderstood something, I don't know.

A couple of years ago, former president Maduro invited other telephone companies to come to Honduras to provide landline service, since the national telephone company can not provide phone lines to much of the country.

El Jefe tells me that as late as 1992, the town he lived in only had communication by telegraph! Many communities have only one pay telephone.
Whoever answers the pay phone will run down the street to find the person you are calling.

Some communities have
only a tiny Hondutel (the government phone company) office. After receiving a call, the Hondutel employee will make arrangements for the caller to call back at a certain time so the person will be there to take the call. They will then stop someone walking down the street and tell them to go tell so-and-so that her sister is going to call back in 20 minutes. Incredible, huh?

Anyway, no thanks to Hondutel, from whom most of the people (including us) can not get a telephone line at any price, the country is supposedly running out of numbers. No, wait! We can't be running out of telephone numbers: 7 digits means 10 million telephone numbers and we only have about 9% that many phones in all of Honduras.

Anyway, for whatever reason, beginning in January, we are going to have 8 digit telephone numbers! The new prefix will still distinguish between landline and cell phone numbers.

How can this be? Aren't systems all over the world set up to handle 7 digits or 10 digits including the area code? How will we put our telephone number into an online form that only allows 7 or 10 digits?
The plan was developed by Hondutel, so I have a bad feeling about this.

(Later...) Oh, I see now. I did some research and now I see that many countries have 1- to 4-digit city codes to allow for more telephone numbers. Well, you can see I'm from the USA, can't you? What do I know? I also saw that in some countries, instead of a city code, you have to know the telephone company code. That could be confusing.

I remember when Dallas added a new area code. There was something like a one year grace period where a recorded reminder was played every time you made a call to a number which had changed area codes so that you could change your records.

I don't see Hondutel being that organized. We'll see.

Interesting chicken facts

Left to right, Carmen, Ramón, Conchita,
and in the foreground, Ramona

Before we acquired our chickens, the only thing I knew about chickens was how they tasted. :-D

I've been doing a lot of reading about chickens and learning as we go. These are a few interesting facts that I've read about or observed. If you are city folk like me, you might find them interesting, too.

♦ In some villages, people keep their chickens under their beds at night to prevent theft.

Chickens can fly.

♦ After laying an egg, a hen announces the fact with a "pride of achievement" call. It's the loud bawk-bawk-bawk-baaaaawwwwk that you hear in chicken cartoons.

♦ Free range chicken eggs have less cholesterol and more omega-3 fatty acid.

♦ Hens on average lay an egg about every day and a half.

♦ A rooster isn't needed for a hen to lay an egg, only for fertilized eggs.

♦ Chickens pee, poop, have sex, and lay eggs through the same orifice.

Dog water tastes better

♦ Chickens do more than half of their pooping at night.

♦ Although chickens can withstand temperatures several degrees below freezing, they do not tolerate temperatures over 40C very well, especially in high humidity.

♦ When do roosters crow? When they want to.

♦ Why do roosters crow? Because they want to.

♦ Raising chickens isn't just for rural folks. In Los Angeles, California, it's becoming a big fashion statement to have fancy chickens as lawn adornments.

♦ Chickens love to eat ripe bananas.

♦ Chicken feathers are very soft, like a rabbit's fur, when you pet them.

♦ Our chickens love to eat grass, but they only nip off the top half an inch or so of the blade.

♦ Now I know where the terms 'pecking order' and 'cocky' come from. When we received our second two hens, Conchita and Carmen, Ramón pecked them on the head a few times to show the new girls who was boss. Then Ramona pecked them on the head a few more times so show them who was 'head hen.' That pecking order remains in effect even though the second pair of hens are bigger than both Ramón and Ramona. Ramón is the epitome of cocky! He struts around, bossing the hens around all day.

Curious Ramona with Ramón in the distance

Chickens are as much fun to watch as all the chicken lovers say they are.

I chickens.

December 28, 2006

Guest blog travelogue by Ann from Texas

What an exciting day! My first guest blogger! Ann from Texas (I should say Houston Ann, since we also have an Austin Ann) sent me this wonderful travelogue complete with pictures of her recent trip to Honduras.

After I begged sweetly, Ann gave me permission to post her travelogue on my blog. Thanks, Ann. I'm sure everyone will enjoy your experience.

La Gringa,
Hi! I first saw your web page a few weeks ago and fell in love! I had heard so many different stories about Honduras that left me wondering what the country was really like. You probably heard some of the same things such as: Honduras is a big jungle, completely uncivilized with monkeys swinging from the trees. I was so happy to finally find a web page that shows the “reality” of typical life and issues in Honduras.

My son Nicholas and I arrived in San Pedro Sula, Honduras on December 19th. My first big adventure was actually going through the glass salida (exit) door of the airport. It was a little confusing to me at first. I saw a sea of faces right outside the door. I wasn’t sure if that was really the exit, or if it was people waiting to board a flight. My son and I were the first ones to walk through the door. I felt like I LOOKED like a foreigner. (My hair is blonde and my baby (seven months old) is half Hondureño with very light skin.

I felt a little shy walking through the exit with so many eyes staring at us! We eventually found our relatives and the adventure continued. I saw so many familiar sites such as Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Payless Shoe Store and many other “American” stores. I also saw many “unfamiliar” sites too!

I was impressed with the size of this locust, but was informed that they can grow to be much larger.

Yes, those are boulders in the road!

What a pretty view.

Our first big trip was to the Copan Ruins. I found out that non-citizens must pay a significantly higher priced entrance fee into the Ruins than citizens. The experience was worth it. I was able to take so many great pictures. These are just a few:

The entrance of the Ruins has several wild parrots that hang out around the entrance gate.

There are so many beautiful tropical plants and trees everywhere. There are also several wild rat/rabbit looking animals around the entrance of the Ruins. Sorry, I can’t remember the Spanish word for those animals. I don’t know the English word for them either!!!

The Copan Ruins were so beautiful for me to see. I was impressed with how well preserved the structures and the tunnel carvings are.

Bat carving in Copan Ruins    Copan head carving

Copan temple entrance carving

After we toured the Ruins and the museum, we went to the heart of the city of Copan. Although the city was a very short distance from the Ruins, we couldn’t resist taking a “taxi’ to the city. The taxi looked like a moped with a camper built on!

Inside the city we stopped and ate carnitas (small pieces of meat) grilled right before our eyes. The basket of food included beans, a salad, and mini tortillas. The cost: LESS THAN A BUCK!

Ann cooking carnitas in the streets of Copan. Ha ha

The beautiful young lady that did the real cooking.

These pictures are from the streets in Copan.

The streets are cobblestone.

Copan is a very old Honduran town. It felt like I stepped back in time.

Little boy playing with a cardboard box.

Poor little skinny dog. Don’t ask me why I took this picture!!

Un Viejo (An old man)

We also traveled to La Ceiba, Progresso, Tela, and Tocoa. The weather during our trip to Tocoa was nice. But it rained very heavy during our trip back from Tocoa. We actually had to pull over because the road became flooded very quickly. We waited a few hours to let the water go down.

The flooding left the roads littered with so much heavy debris. I was really impressed with how the citizens pulled together to clear the roads of debris and helped each other cross the flooded area safely.

My flight was scheduled to leave the next morning from San Pedro Sula. I wasn’t sure if I was going to miss my flight. And of course I was supposed to be back at work in Houston the next morning! Fortunately we left early the next morning and arrived at the airport in San Pedro Sula, safely.

My vacation to Honduras was definitely the BEST adventure of my life. I want to go back again very soon!

Take care,

Ann from Texas

Thanks again, Ann, and if anyone else has a trip to Honduras and no blog on which to write about it, I would be more than happy to post it here!

December 27, 2006


Jícama (Pachyrrizus erosus) is a tropical legume which produces an edible tuberous root. This vegetable, also called yam bean or Mexican turnip, is popular in Mexico but is not well known here in La Ceiba.

I planted seeds three times before I finally had some germinate. I had to scarify the seeds, pour boiling water over them, AND soak them overnight before they finally germinated.

Jícama (pronounced hee'-kah-ma) is highly day-length sensitive. It produces tubers only in a long, warm growing season under relatively short day length. In the tropics, the tubers are produced in 4 to 6 months.
I planted these seeds in May, which may have been a little early.

In the U.S.A, it can only be grown in frost-free areas of southern Florida and Texas. Trials in California have only been successful when there has been an unusually warm October and November. Trials by ECHO in southwest Florida reported that regardless of the planting date (April through August), the tubers did not form until the short days December.

I planted them in the front yard so that the vines could grow up the metal bars of the fence. The vines are attractive with heart-shaped leaves. The vines hardly grew at all the first month after I planted them, but once they started, they grew very quickly.

The lavender blooms are said to be pretty, but mine only bloomed for a very short time before they started going to seed. They say to keep the flowers and seed pods picked off, but I didn't because I wanted to let the seeds ripen so I would have seed for next year.

I kept putting off checking the roots and then I got sick and completely forgot about them. El Jefe harvested them for me. We had 3 roots totaling 8 pounds (3.6 kg.). That is about average size, but I think I would prefer them a little smaller. These had exploded, too, either from the excess water they have been receiving (rain) or from leaving them in the ground too long.

These are the seedpods. I am saving the seeds for next year. I like the way each seed has its own little compartment in the pod. It looks very tidy.

Jícama is seldom bothered by insects because the seeds, leaves, and ripe pods are poisonous. The seeds contain rotenone, a potent insecticide.

I peeled (with great difficulty) one of roots, including the fibrous flesh directly under the skin, and sliced it thin in the Cuisinart. We ate some of it with salt, lemon juice, and hot chile sauce.

It tastes like a cross between an apple and a potato, but has the advantage that the white flesh doesn't turn brown if you don't use it immediately.

Jícama doesn't have a lot of flavor; its main attraction is the crisp texture, which is good raw sliced or julienned in vegetable or fruit salads, on vegetable platters, and with dips such as salsa or guacamole. It can be used as a substitute for water chestnuts. Lightly sauté or stir fry − it stays crisp when cooked.

They say that Jícama can be stored several weeks at normal room temperatures, or several months when stored in the refrigerator. Longer storage can be achieved by delaying harvest.

December 26, 2006

Tropical Storm

A tropical rainstorm uprooted this papaya tree

Apparently the rainstorm was worse than we knew. We've been watching the Honduras channels on TV. They say that the highway from La Ceiba was cut off from San Pedro Sula, where almost all of our food and supplies come from. It must be clear now because we received the newspaper today at 2:00 p.m.; it comes from San Pedro, too, but usually at 7:00 a.m.

Yesterday's newspaper reported that this was the 24th frente frio (cold front) of this season. (Hmmm, I only remember two other cold fronts, October 30 and November 22.) They predicted rain of up to 1 meter (3.3 feet) in the next 48 hours and up to 2 meters (6.6 feet) in the next 72 hours. Winds of up to 50 km. per hour (31 miles per hour) were expected. High and low temperatures for La Ceiba today are predicted to be 13 to 20°C (55 to 68°F), gradually getting back to normal (mid-80's F/28-30°C) by Friday.

They reported that the areas beyond La Ceiba have no electricity. Parts of La Ceiba have no water. Some of the bridges have been damaged. The main bridge that we take to town is in danger of collapsing, they say. The water level has reached the level of the main north coast highway on both sides and at some points, the highway is under water.

An overflowing river in Sambo Creek not far from here claimed the lives of a father and his 14-year-old daughter. The mother was rescued but is in poor condition.

One rancher lost 40 head of cattle who drowned. Other cattle are roaming the highway because it is the only high ground in some areas. Many acres of crops have been destroyed. The reporters interviewed some very sad farmers.

We saw film of some of the very same areas that I took photos of on
our trip to Tela. This banana plantation is now under water and the banana plants are uprooted and laying all over the place. The water is up to the level of this part of the highway on both sides. Sorry I can't give you on-the-scene photos, but use your imagination.

Our internet and cable were out this morning but have been repaired. The power has been off four times since last night. We haven't had any problem with our water supply since it comes from a well instead of from the city.

We had a little damage to our garden. Nothing much to speak of but here are some photos:

These three papaya trees were old and not producing good fruit so they are no loss. You can see by the curved trunks that two of them were already leaning. We needed to cut them down anyway. The photo at left is a side view of the papaya tree at the top of the article.

This photo is the Etlingera that El Jefe macheted. Oops, the rain pouring off the roof knocked down some more branches. There are only four tall stems left. Luckily, it will grow back quickly.

The metal support holding my Allamanda also fell over because the plant was so top heavy but I don't think it damaged the plant.

The pink Etlingera, in this photo, was damaged, too. Now we won't need to machete that one − just tidy it up a bit.

Right now it is starting to rain again. Time to go mop the floors and quit complaining about our windows. It could be a lot worse and I'm thankful that we have only suffered minor annoyances.

Windows let the world in

There are three leaky windows in this small bay.

We had a heavy rainstorm in La Ceiba yesterday. It started in the afternoon and lasted pretty much all through the night.

Before I went to bed, I mopped five rooms because the windows were leaking water all over the floors. Then I put towels all across the window sills to try to stem the flow. I woke up early to find that two of the bedroom are flooded again, even though El Jefe apparently got up during the night and mopped again because there is about two gallons of water in the mop bucket. (I found out later that he mopped twice.)

The storm was really loud. At one point, the wind was coming through the closed windows, sounding like, "Whoo-oo, whoo-ooo." Like ghosts. It spooked the dogs. Our windows don't keep out sun, heat, cold, insects, geckos, rain, or wind! Wonderful.

The paint on the window sills is bubbling up from all the water, as is some of the paint on the walls below the windows. You see, here in La Ceiba, they install windows without sealing between the window frame and the wall. They insisted that they could be caulked afterward. I thought they knew what they were doing. We have recaulked and sealed around the frames of the windows inside and out to no avail. Somehow the water keeps coming in.

We have three really tall windows in the stairway going down to the garage. (Photo above) I have perched on tall ladders caulking everything I can find to caulk and still water comes in between the top and bottom sections. No, they don't 'leak' − they rain. I have actually been rained on standing on the stairway landing. I can't figure it out.

The most common windows here in Honduras are the aluminum jalousie types or the aluminum sliding windows, which we have. Wood windows aren't practical. That's what I wanted but our architect told us that no one here knows how to make them and the climate in La Ceiba isn't kind to them anyway.

He said if we got wood windows, he was sure we would end up taking them out and replacing them in a very few years. None of the windows are standard size and ordering them from well-known companies in the US would cost a fortune and we would still have to use installers here which would probably defeat the purpose of using well-made windows.

PVC windows are available. One San Pedro Sula company advertises their European PVC windows. We got a quote from them: L. 483,000! And that wasn't including screens! It is possible to build a small house here for L. 483,000 (about $27,000 at the time). We saw a neighbor's house that had a couple of these windows. They were terrible! Handles had fallen off, silicone smeared all over the frame, and the owners had been waiting two months for them to come back and repair them.

Even though windows were the second most expensive component of our home, after the teja roof, this is what we have.

December 24, 2006

Felíz Navidad

A block-long Christmas light display put out by Pin Pan Bakery in front of their factory.

A big display of lights on a house, showing a close up of one of the three kings and Jesus in the manger:

Felíz Navidad
Merry Christmas
to all of you

La Gringa and El Jefe

God willing

Friday I used the "Si Dios quiere" line. (If God is willing.) Sorry to sound disrespectful. I don't make fun of people's religious beliefs. El Jefe and his family are very religious and I respect that.

In Honduras, however, religion is sometimes used as an excuse or a sales tool, with businesses describing themselves as "Christian" in their advertising and on their business cards. I don't like that. In fact, in my business dealings in this country, some of the self-proclaimed Christians have been among the worst cheats of all.

It's one thing to wish someone to get well and hearing
"si Dios quiere," because getting well probably is in the hands of God, and quite another to say "see you tomorrow" to someone and have them say "si Dios quiere." You know full well that it really means, "If I feel like working tomorrow" or "If I feel like fixing your car today" or "If I don't spend your money instead of ordering the part that you just paid for" or "If God suddenly puts 72 hours in a day and I can actually meet all the compromisos (promises) that I have made to everyone."

The sweet young nurse who has been giving me a shot everyday kept reminding me that the laboratory is only open until 11 a.m. on Saturdays. She started off saying to come by 10:30, and as the week went on, by Friday she said to come at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

I definitely wanted to get the shot from her as going to a new person scares me a bit. Will they mix the two potions properly? Will they dig the needle around first until I scream like others have done? Will I be able to watch them open a new, clean needle from a package? Also, because she has been so nice, I didn't want to keep her late on Saturday, her last workday before Christmas.

But, just in case, so it wouldn't be my fault if I was late, I answered
"Si Dios quiere." She gave me a funny look but agreed, "Sí. Si Dios quiere." (Yes. If God is willing.) It gave me a strange feeling of empowerment. I really enjoyed it. From that point on, I felt I was absolved of all responsibility for punctuality.

As it happens, we didn't get there until 10:45, and then, horror of horrors . . . as we were parking, I realized I had forgotten the medicine to be injected! I went in to pay for the injection while El Jefe rushed back home to get the medicine. I said, "Yes, I'm here on time, but I FORGOT THE MEDICINE!" I apologized profusely. I really felt terrible about it and I didn't feel at all that it was God's fault.

She and the clerk were very nice about it and said they would wait. When I pulled my money out, the clerk told me I didn't have to pay. "Por qué?" (Why?) They just laughed and said something I couldn't understand. I jokingly asked if it was "un regalo de Navidad?" (a Christmas present?) and they laughed again and agreed. Eleven o'clock came and went. As I sat there waiting, they began turning people away because they were closed.

El Jefe rushed in with the medicine, I got my shot and the nurse even happily brought a band aid to put on my butt because I had brought one on Friday because on Thursday my bum bled right through my slacks.

I thanked her and we all said
"Felíz Navidad!" Every now and then my faith in people is restored. Sometimes people are nice just to be nice.

December 22, 2006

Flores de mi amor (Flowers from my love)

A side benefit of El Jefe taking the machete to the garden was this:

Etlingera elatior, common name Torch Ginger

And this:

Alpinia purpurata, common name red ginger

So I can't complain too much, can I?

Etlinger elatior grows to 20 feet (6.5 m.) tall and wide with a multitude of leaf stalks. Mine were each planted from one stem about 2 years ago. You can see a picture from May 2005 of the one tall stalk (between the windows to the right of the birdbath) along with 3 or 4 small new stems that had sprouted at that time.

This picture from two months ago shows the leaf stalks rising from the ground. The plants now have (or had before the machete) about 40-50 leaf stalks even though they have been thinned out several times.

Right now, my unmacheted pink one has 25 flower stalks (most of which need to be dead headed). They seem to have at least a few flowers blooming year round. The pink plant gets more sun and flowers more prolifically.

The flowers come in pink with green stalks or a deep coral with red stalks, growing on individual stalks that rise from the ground. The flowers look as if they were made of wax and are very long lasting in arrangements. The flower stalks are about 2 feet long (.6 m.). The picture at top is the coral variety.

This picture at right is of the pink variety. Here in Honduras, pink Etlinger is called Bastón de la Reina (cane of the queen) and coral Etlinger is called Bastón de la Emperador (cane of the emperor). They are of the Zingiberaceae (ginger) family.

Alpinia purpurata, common name red ginger, grows to about 10 feet (3 m.) and blooms year round. Flower colors range from light pink to dark red. They are among the most common plants here in La Ceiba and are easily propagated by dividing the multitude of stems that arise from the ground.

In this hot, humid climate the seeds sprout right inside the flowers, growing new plants while the flower is still blooming! These little plantlets can be planted directly in the ground.

We have a lot of thinning and dividing to do. I wish I could share some of these plants with you!

La Gringa's garden was macheted

I don't think that 'macheted' is a word in English, but it is in Spanish − machetazo.

In case anyone doesn't know, a machete is a long, about 2 feet (60 cm.), knife used for all gardening/farming chores, protection and other nefarious activities. Almost everyone has one, many wear them hanging from their belt.

It is often considered THE ONLY NECESSARY gardening tool. It is used for clearing land, trimming trees, cutting grass and sugar cane, pruning, chopping wood, harvesting bananas and other fruit, and you-name-it.

I try to avoid all use of machetes in my garden because, as you can imagine, the end product is not exactly the neatly trimmed garden that I prefer.


I took this before picture a couple of weeks ago. I knew we needed to do some serious pruning and thinning. It has been raining like crazy for the last two months and after all, this is the tropics. Things grow fast.

I wanted to get a worker or El Jefe to help me. You know − me pointing out which stems to neatly cut off to the ground or dig up, while I dead headed the flowers and did the fine pruning.


Instead, while I was in my weakened state, El Jefe took the machete to the whole area, leaving stumps one to two feet high. Sigh. Oh, well, I guess it does look better. Something needed to be done. In another two months it will be all grown out again anyway.

Wow, look! There are some windows behind all that greenery.

December 21, 2006

This and that, December 21

Workers, not

Yesterday El Jefe stopped to talk to some of the guys who hang out every day visiting with each other at the entrance to our colonia. He asked if anyone was interested in working for a few days, doing some yard work for us. Two guys said yes so he told them to come at 7 a.m.

Both were no shows.

Continuing eggs

Conchita is laying an egg every single day! She moved from the flower pot on the glass table to a cardboard box with newspapers. The box contains rolled up dirty newspapers from their pen waiting to be taken to the compost pile. That seemed to be kind of a nasty place to lay eggs so we bought a small plastic tub and filled it with wood shavings that we use for mulch. We've showed her the nice new digs a couple of times. She caught on quickly.

Spam Stirfry

All of La Gringa's spam is coming in Japanese now. Up to eight a day. After I wrote this spam spoof (I still laugh every time I read it. Boy, am I funny!), my spam dwindled to almost nothing. After that article, I only received one spam in October, one in November, and four in December, until this wave of Japanese spam hit. Incredible. I thought I had discovered the secret cure for spam. What is going on?

I also just noticed that Google web clips gives me spam recipes when I open my spam folder. Spam fajitas, spam pitas, etc. Funny.

You might also notice that I have 50 GMail invites. If you want one, just send me an email.

Good Things

We were on our way home from the daily shot in the butt. We tried to run a few errands but it was just too exhausting for me. I was reclining in the front seat, eyes half open, looking at the new mallito (little mall) while we waited for the light to change. Suddenly, I screeched:


El Jefe almost jumped out of his seat. He didn't catch what I was saying and thought I was having some sort of medical emergency.

"Look! Baskin Robbins! The new mallito is going to have a Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors ice cream store!"

More good things

We went to a USA store today. I don't know what to call it. I know what it is − it's a garage sale store. All that stuff you guys sell in your garage sales gets imported. Most of it is dusty junk and overpriced at that. But they have racks and racks of books! In English! I bought eight since I'm planning to spend a lot of time in bed.

All in all, a good day.
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