Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Weather Patterns

Of course rain would ruin one of my favorite days to party out of the whole year: Cinco De Mayo.

The entire 25-degree work day was spent emailing mi amiga about the fun things we were going to do: walk around Kensington market and eat burritos, hit up a patio and order sangria in the sunshine, watch as the latino community came out and sell their wares in droves... It was a dream come true.

Anything that allows me to escape reality and pretend I'm somewhere spanish-speaking is a dream come true. Last weekend, I went to a communal Indian birthday party at the Liberty Grand, which looks like a resorty-palace. For a couple of hours, I pretended everyone was Mexican and I was in Cabos. ¡ARRIBA!¡ARRIBA!...and Namaste.

Pure bliss.

I'm pretty sure I just offended a huge percentage of the world but since I can't decide if its the Mexican population or the Indian population, I'm going to go with both, so they can cancel each other out. I'm very diplomatic, Méxindia.

Anyways, of course my arch-nemesis, The Rain, showed up the second I set foot out of the office and kept on for the rest of the evening, effectively destroying any chance of plan follow-through. We still went out for tapas, but it wasn't the same. In my mind, and I'm sure others will agree, "Down South" means endless sunny days, without a cloud in sight.

But that's total horseshit.

I lived Down South for about a year. Sunny days exist, that's for sure, but for a pretty good portion of it, at least in Honduras, rain ruined many a plan for me, and one time, my dear friends, it caused this unlucky girl to fall into a sewer.

Sewers in Puerto Cortés aren't the beautiful works of art you see here. There's no lid to cover the grossness that lies beneath, nor do the sewer contents run deep below the streets, hidden from view. They run about 3 feet below street level, under the sidewalks. And by sidewalks, I mean giant slabs of concrete strategically placed over the sewer drains. Some of the slabs are broken, or caved into the sewer, so the grossness can be clearly visible at times. And by grossness, I mean people use these holes as garbage cans, so on top of the crap that's already swimming through the drains, there's huge mounds of mushy decomposing garbage that never gets picked up. I hope I'm painting a vivid enough picture for you.

Moving on.

One day, there was so much rain that school was cancelled.

That's me in 2006!

We (being me and my friend/roommate Tamara) keep thinking it's going to stop, but it rains and rains and we are finally desperate enough to brave the waters and head to the grocery store to pick up emergency supplies.

We have to walk one block north because we live on a slope and no cab is foolish enough to drive on these roads.

We end up picking up our emergency supplies and getting in a cab back. This cab is foolish enough to drive on those flooded roads. He drops us off right beside our house, where that picture above was taken.

The car starts to fill up with water in the back and we toss him the money casually, pretending like his car is not going to need thousands of dollars worth of work.

In our haste to leave and pretend we have no idea what is going on, Tamara hops out and I start handing grocery bags to her over my head. One step out of the car and I'm in floodland, baby.

So I try to step out carefully, as close as possible to the house, because that's where the most leverage is. The cab drives away, and in trying to avoid being splashed by the cab, I lose my footing.

And fall into a sewer.

The entire ground was covered in water and it was impossible to see where the sidewalk started, ended, or had cracks. I can still feel the soft, decomposing garbage on my nightmare feet.

I shriek to high heavens, because I am literally submersed in raw sewage. Try to imagine this happening to you. Just try. Yeah.

Clambering to safety as quickly as possible, I run into the house, yanking off all sewage clothes and screaming non-stop. It's all very cartoonish, but really happening. I head for the shower.

It does not work.

It. does. not. work.

Not having water was typical in Puerto, but this was basically the most awful time possible. I use some of the drinking water, but in a flood, there was virtually no way to get any more, and I couldn't really use all our drinking water to take a bath....Or could I? (no, I couldn't).

My genius mother had packed about 1000 wetnaps in my bag for just this type of emergency. How might she know I was going to trip and fall into a sewer, you might ask? Well, I have had a pretty long history with falling into things. You wouldn't have to be that intuitive.

After being almost disinfected (or rather, almost running out of supplies) by 893 wetnaps, that antibacterial stuff you don't need water for that I can't remember the name of right now, and my tears' water, guess who decides to show up for a visit?

Why, running tap water, of course!

Not a good day, friends, not a good day.

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