The sun is on its way into the sea, so it's time to pick up the Quixote. I've found that this cooler part of the day is the best time to read.
I'd been a little concerned about running out of books: Cervantes can only last for so long (although I haven't yet hit p. 300, so I really don't need to be worrying about this now). However, I spied some Murakami, de Bernieres, Okri, and Borges on a fellow teacher's shelf last week, and have felt more relaxed ever since.
The days follow each other in meek procession. Today one of my students exclaimed on the whiteness of my skin, pointing to a white piece of paper in comparison. I grinned and lifted the sleeve of my polo shirt: my tan is definitely improving. She smiled and actually agreed with me--a huge concession from the six-year-old who's always right!
At lunch, a co-worker asked if I missed any food from the States. I said no--that food tastes much better here. When I was in the States, I actually missed food from here more. I love plátano maduro, and it's very hard to find anything remotely decent up north. (Incidentally, I've got to agree with Maud: Cuban food is amazing--and we've got the same sorts of things here.) I'm going to have a feast tonight--I found some arepas (round flat cakes, thicker than tortillas) de choclo (a kind of sweet corn) at the grocery store tonight. I'll slice an avocado over one for dinner. (Yum!)
The wheat bread even tastes better. Somehow, it reminds me of reading Tolkien and the two Jacks (London and Lewis) as a child and loving the simple descriptions of makeshift meals of bread and cheese or boiled potatoes (or the apples the Pevensies found when they were stranded after being pulled back into Narnia for the second time). They always made me hungry.
Last week, after reading of Don Quixote and Sancho's respite with the goatherds, I got hungry and sliced some quesito (Colombian cheese, which comes in soft, sponge-like blocks) and folded sliced bread around it. Perfect. (I can sympathize, sir!) The fruit is better, too--especially pineapple and papaya...
Ok. Dinner time.