¿Hey, Where you from?
Trip Start Oct 31, 2008
39Trip End Jul 01, 2009
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Are we Cynics? Are we travel weary? Worldwide travellers and holiday makers hear this question. My usual reaction. Carry on looking at the floor, out the window or pretend to be from a country in the world that could not understand the question. Why? because every time I hear that little question a part of me this time hopes the question will be genuine, hopes that they might actually want to know the answer. Hope that he/she would consider us interesting people, enough to drag our attention away from whatever we are doing and entertain them would be such a wonderful compliment, but every time disappointment prevails.
Please don´t get this wrong. There are lovely people the world over that help travellers everyday, are interested and wonderful.....It is just that question. The only fun that can be taken from it is playing the game of how long it will take until they ask for the thing they have grasped your attention for.
So after our lovely boat trip out of Monterrico we found ourselves on a bus to the Salvador boarder. In our peripherals a man is standing on the front of the bus staring at us. Not looking......"¿Hey where you from?" Sinking heart, ........."England" silence. Sitting down next to us whilst the bus gets moving, a 15 minute monolog of his admittedly slightly interesting but potentially fabricated life from birth to present day commences. Every so often helping our slight apprehension with comments like. "You´ve got to be careful they will shoot you"!.
A quick synopsis for you.
Born: El Salvador
Grew up: Texas
Profession: Drug running
Marital Status: Possibly married to 3 or 4 different women (one who looked like Nadia)
Kids: A few complete with some sad stories.
Currently: Deported and penniless.
The conductor comes by to check the tickets and we get to the crux. Puppy dog eyes "I´ve got not money to pay for the bus".....silence......."I´m going to have to get off"...........(us) "well good luck".
Now, maybe we could have just paid for his ticket, but please don´t feel sorry for him. The story continues.
The border was a simple affair. A fond farewell to Guatemala, a country we both agreed was fantastic. A place we wished we had more time for. We missed out on the entire highlands. Xela the beautiful 2nd city and certainly could have spent many more weeks learning Spanish. A kilometre windy walk and a lack of stamp in our passports due to ´Stampman´ being at lunch saw us into El Salvador. First thing we see and hear in our new country "HEY, I BEAT YOU GUYS"..........Bollocks.
Anyway to wrap the story up. He follows us chatting and sharing jokes with the locals. We say our goodbyes. Get on the next bus just as we are leaving he jumps the barrier to get on. Resuming his chat. We pay over the odds he pays nothing. Although there is a knowing exchange be between he and the driver. (We pay his ticket). Constant chat. Food people come on. "Hey guys I´m so hungry and thirsty, Haven´t eaten in days". We buy him food and finally.....silence. An hour later he´s off the bus.
A bus change in Sonsante saw us on route to Santa Ana through the startling Volcanic scenery. A spine of 10 plus individual Volcanoes that sit along a fault line through the west of the country. Santa Ana itself was a small block based town not unattractive not attractive. We got a hotel room in what was the Red light dangerous part of town near Parque Colon, as we were informed by a friendly local who we got chatting to over dinner. Also on the back of his advice we got a cab back as it is not safe to walk around after dark.
The comedy highlight of Santa Ana. Was a hair cut and beard trim for Vinny. Who went for from Grizzly to GI in the space of 5 amusing minutes. Sadly no photos to prove it!!!!