Tuesday, July 04, 2006

If it ends with cake....

I practically forgot it was Independence Day. This makes the first time I've been out of my country for the 4th. No fireworks, no sparklers. We laid low today escaping the heat. The girls swam a bit. Sara and I ran to town for a frappucino at Coffee Star, but it was closed for siesta time. We tried to kill a little time driving around town and down the Malecon and in search for Arturo's Mini-Market which everyone claims has the best produce, but I've never been able to locate. We looked and we looked and I finally began asking strangers in the street where to find it and no matter how carefully we listened and followed directions we could never find the place.

Seems townfolks forget to mention one small detail: Arturo's market is named Davis Rubio Mercado Yeah, it's painted in big black letters over the store, how could I miss it? Aggghhhh. I guess the locals are so familiar with each other there's no need to change signage when businesses change hands. It was frighteningly disappointing so we left with very little. As I was picking through the unripe tomatoes another customer said something to me about tomorrow being the day for better produce. Then the clerk repeated the advice so I inquired further to learn (I think) that every other day is the better day for produce. I guess I just need to learn the rhythm and jump in on the "YES" days. I did see, however, the biggest jar of maraschino cherries priced at over $18 US dollars. You take notice of the unusual; you never know when someday soon, you or someone you know will ask, "where can I find..."

So to the Pescador supermarket we went. Afterwards, siesta time over, we trolled by Coffee Star again. Closed. Cerrado. Poor Sara, her frappucino dreams dashed. She was as annoyed as we are when El Rey Del Taco is closed. We made up for it by having dinner at Mita's where the fish is excellent. The last time we were there I ordered my fish prepared with cilantro. Juan Carlos at first hesitated, maybe they had no cilantro, but he put a finger up to signal wait a moment, and pulled out his cell phone. We watched in suspense as murmured into his phone before suddenly announcing, no problem, the cilantro is on the way. Moments later, his son pulled up and raced to the back door to the kitchen with a small package.

Today, we learned, was Juan Carlos' birthday. When the mariachi's showed up, as they always do at most restaurants every evening, we had them sing to Juan Carlos. He deserves our praise not just for the cilantro thing, but for accommodating the one girl who wants spaghetti noodles with butter only, the other girl who wants them absolutely plain and could you bring a little Parmesan on the side and more bread please and could we split this salad between the three of us and could you serve this bottle of wine I brought in?

As we were finishing our meal a customer presented him with a large homemade cake and we were all offered a piece. So, no frappucino in the afternoon ends with free cake-all-around in the evening. Abundance follows lack. I like the fairness in that. The photo is from another day, of another cake, the one Cath helped Allison make for Father's Day.

No comments: