We went to the doctor today. I’m in the waiting room first, while my husband parks the car. A young couple also waits for the doctor, the appointment ahead of us. They are sitting apart, and appear sullen. The young woman is playing Ranchera music a bit too audible on her cell phone while everyone else in the small waiting room ignores the show of adolescence. A roment after my husband walks in the doctor is ready for the sullen couple. Everyone is relieved. Perhaps an unusual scene at a fertility clinic, but as for the noise, not unusual among young people in El Salvador.
When the house was packed with in-laws and kids over the holidays and New Years, there were at least 2 different cell phones playing music at any point in the day in the house. Since the i-pod and other imitations are too pricey for most anyone here, anyone who is a teenager runs around with a music-playable cell phone, blasting Reggaeton, M&M, American Hits, or Ranchera music. It’s a tad noisy, but has a more festive feel than a group of i-podders walking around together in drone silence, listening to music individually but only heard when a microphone shared gets plugged into a friend’s ear. I saw video footage of a “silent rave” some organizers had put together in a large city once. We have come too far with individual players and screens. I prefer the Salvadoran style of music sharing, just not in waiting rooms.
We ate steak at a restaurant. The Plants were amazing, but the meat was tough. Nearly all meat in el Salvador is tough, but as my husband remarks, its “real” meat. Flavor’s good, you start chewing, and keep chewing, and then chaw chaw chaw a little more. Finally, you reach a point where you can’t chaw any darn more and either have to swallow the remaining bit, like a hard shredded piece of gum, or clandestinely discard it under a salad leaf.
Don’t get too excited about free-range here, as poultry producers have caught onto “smush-em-in-the-dark” chicken raising (see Food, Inc., a fantastically revealing documentary). One can find superfat chickens or giant breast and leg parts in just about any grocery store. The good thing, if you live in the country, is there’s a lady raising chickens around every corner – they cost more than the grocery store and are tougher and skinnier, but you’re happily hormone free.