I’m not sure if it was the time difference or not…but the days in El Salvador were LONG! This was a good thing. I remember being at the beach or in the pool and it felt like 5:00. Thinking we should get ready for our dinner reservations, I would check the time and was always baffled that it was only 1 or 2 o’clock. Things moved slowly, time moved slowly, people moved slowly. The last month of school for me was
fucking ridiculous a little busy so I soaked up the El Salvadorian pace as much as possible. No where to be at a specific time…no watch..no phone…just peace.
Now I will say that the laid back feeling was put on hold for our travel day. Here’s what I knew: 1) We were at LEAST 2 hours from the rental car place. 2) Where was that rental car place again? 3) Every time we venture out on four wheels, we get lost. 4) We had buddy passes 5)There is only ONE flight from San Salvador to Atlanta, GA a day.
Needless to say we left pretty early. We enjoyed another beautiful drive and were confident about directions so we were able to relax and talk and take pics and enjoy what may be one of most beautiful places I have ever been. I found myself envying the country that only a few days prior I was cursing at. It was raw, untouched, un-superficial, and happy. I remember wondering what the native people would think of Americans if they visited our home.
So we made it…and everything was smooth sailing. The bridge was out, again. We drove through the river, again. We were stopped by the policia in a routine traffic stop and made it to the rental car place with time to spare! They took us to the airport, bags checked, gate found, snack had…we were ready! Then…the stress began. Have you ever flown on standby? Well, it’s one thing to fly standby on a flight that leaves every 30 minutes, it’s another thing entirely to wait for seats on a flight that happens once a day! The gate filled up, fast. No one at the desk could tell us if we were getting on. I tried taking a head count of the people at our gate…there at least 100.
Ben: “Umm…ok. Maybe we should start thinking of a plan b?”
Jess: Biting nails. “No. There is no plan b. There is only plan a. Which is us, on that plane.”
Cue hispanic man who sits in one of the few empty seats (beside me) dressed like a soldier only he’s not, but he does know his English expletives and smells likes he’s been up drinking for about oh, say, three days.
Hombre: “I’m sick of this fucking country…you? The police stole my laptop…and you know…I got a little pissed off…you know? Those police back there? points behind us to three cops… They are the ones…they are pissing me off following me. Hey amigo..to Ben…take this back to your friends…yeah?”
He laughs…and hands Ben a homemade ‘cigar’ with God knows what inside of it.
Ben: Politely “Oh no thank you…I’m gonna pass this time.”
Jess: Oh my God we’re gonna be stuck here forever…
All dramatics aside, they loaded the plane for about 20 minutes before FINALLY calling our names. Biggest sigh of relief ever! And..it was first class. We watched a movie, had a great meal, and prepared to be home. I miss my nino so much I wanted to kiss his cheeks off when I saw him! We landed and were high on life. We made a beeline for baggage claim and were going to book it home because a very, very important finale was coming on that night! Last snag of the trip: no luggage. None of our three bags had made the trip back to Los Estados Unidos. We claimed the luggage as lost and made it home just in time to order a pizza and crash. Thankfully..the luggage showed up later that week!
We have souvenirs and memories from the trip that I will never forget. Jude and Neal are such a beautiful couple inside and out and being a part of their beautiful wedding was an honor. Adios El Salllbaaaddoooorrr!!!!!