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September 05, 2003

Blind Date

My Salvadorean friend Pati couldn't lunch with me today as planned, so she sent a friend of hers to take me out on a blind date.

I dislike dates of any sort, and would never be induced to go on a blind one. In this case, however, my date couldn't speak English, so it wouldn't really be me going out with him, but my Spanish-speaking alter ego. My true self would remain out of harm's way, where it couldn't be looked at or picked at or interrogated by the strange man opposite. Perfect.

So this fellow came to pick me up and whisked me off to a restaurant overlooking the sea. He was a short, nuggety, dark haired lawyer, and he was still in his suit. He reminded me of my uncle, Terry Salmon, which was very pleasant, but not very alluring - when heading out on a blind date, nobody wants to be reminded of their uncle, no matter how beloved.

We ate an enormous and extremely delicious lunch. I had ceviche first, which is, if you haven't eaten it, about the best thing you can ever eat. Raw fish soaked in lime juice with some coriander and stuff. It tastes perfect. Afterwards I had an enormous plate of barbecued prawns. I raved on about god knows what in Spanish. I think the rum helped my fluency somehow.

Afterwards we took a long drive through the countryside, and ate cake in a little town in the hills. The sea looked gorgeous as we drove along the shore, and as we climbed the hills the coffee plantations looked lovely and green. We stopped by the side of the road where some farmers were loading their truck with anonas - a fruit that is in season at this time of year. It has a green bumpy skin, like you might imagine the skin of a dinosaur to look. It's the size of a cricket ball, and just inside the skin, when you break the fruit in two, is a rim of red the colour of a cricket ball. Inside that is a filling of a rosey pink, soft, wet, spongey flesh like a moist marshmallow. You dig chunks out one by one. Inside each chunk is a brown seed that looks like a chocolate clinker. You suck the flesh off, then spit the seed out the window. It's delicious and unlike anything I've tasted before.

I was dropped home by the kindly fellow, and later on we met again at a bar in the city. My hosts, Teresa Davila and her husband, Jaime, as well as Pati and her husband Carlos, and my date, of course, had a few tequilas and did some dancing. After a few drinks, my date became a little bit amorous, but his stature was a great handicap for him in this regard. He could only manage a couple of quick pecks on my shoulder, which was level with his gob, as we were doing the merengue. So that was alright.

Posted by Sarah on September 5, 2003 05:32 PM
Category: Eating and Drinking, El Salvador

Great stuff Sarah - love the bit about how he went in for the kiss. Keep having fun.

Posted by: Sean on September 8, 2003 05:40 PM

Am wondering whether there is an El Salvadorean TV show on which you could appear to share your central American dating experience

Posted by: Steven on September 8, 2003 08:35 PM

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