Trip Start Sep 20, 2006
33Trip End Dec 13, 2006
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My guidebook described the downtown haunt Bar Social as "a place frozen in old Colonial Time" So at 9pm I took a shower, changed my thongs for runners, and headed down there; closed.
After an afternoon at the beach the next day, I managed to return before close. I became the 6th patron within this high ceiling venue; there was a couple near the entrance, another couple on the far side, and a man slumped head down on the bar by himself, save for 6 or 7 empty glasses to his side (it was a full 20 minutes before I saw him raise his head), and the barman who was entrapped by his large circular bar, supporting all the aforementioned.
Before he'd even spoke, I sensed the eccentricity of this barmen, in his eccentric bar, and grew a smile. I ordered a Bohemia beer after which the barman rattled off almost 5 minutes of the fastest Spanish I've ever heard... I managed to pick up (more by body language than words) that he only had one Bohemia left, but after confirming it was cold, it was all mine. Whilst he waddled off to retrieve it, I noticed the reason for his particularly short stature - he had bowed legs. Both of them. His knees bent out to the left and right beyond the width of his shoulders.
I'd barely taken a second mouthful when a younger barman entered from the street with a bottle under his arm, and promptly presented it to 'ol bow legs, whom, after inspecting it closely, opened it and filled an empty 200ml Schweppes soda bottle with the contents. Presumably this was his cut. After tucking his barman's tax under the shelf, he looked at me and grinned so big that it showed off all 4 of his teeth. Presenting the bottle to me, it was ron anejo (aged rum), he gave me the 'question' look, to which I returned the 'yes' look and behold, I had a large shot and four grinning teeth before me.
It turned out that the couple nearest the entrance, were in fact not a couple, and before I knew it, the middle-aged woman was all of a sudden sitting next to me, buying me another (non Bohemia) beer. And the grinning 4 toothed bow-legs was pouring me another shot of ron anejo. I glanced over toward mr "slumped over the bar" who was now being assisted out of the premises and decided the safest move was to leave with him, once I finished my drinks. When on the outside, I did what any tipsy man would do, I went looking for another bar.
My search took me past street taco stand. I'm not sure if it was the hymns being sung from the open air church next to it or the smell of fermenting flesh, but I ordered 2 (tacos not hymns), and received three. I wandered on, and before I knew it was in front of another taco stand and 3 more tacos. It must have been all the chilli, coz, I discovered that I was a little lost... yet, persisting to trust my internal compass, I made it back after a few more tacos along the way. All good.
If you have enough chilli on your tongue (and a little rum in the veins) and your corona is cold enough, it can provide a little bitter aftertaste reminiscent of, yes, a VB!
Book: Rule by Secrecy - Jim Marrs.
Agree or not, it's essential reading.
Where I stayed