Monday, August 17, 2009

San Sal Quick Trip

Taking a break from interviews and filling out job applications, I decided at the last minute to go to El Salvador to visit with my husband and bring back my cat. Unfortunately the tickets weren't as cheap as they were the first time I looked, but Continental was recommended for pet travel anyways.  Five days wasn't enough, but at least it was five days where I felt like I was at home again.  Ohio still feels foreign to me after a month back.  We spent the majority of the time running around to get papers for the cat (which by the way, no one ever checked in any of the airports), seeing friends, watching soccer games, and just enjoying being together.  No news on Edwin's visa yet; it's apparently still "in the mail." We made it out to the beach on Sunday, which was empty since vacations had just ended. 
Why do I feel at home in San Salvador, I wonder? I haven't lived there for a year, and still am not fond of its violence and crazy drivers, but how can you not love a place where you see guys on the corner holding large venomous caterpillars? Where the menu is painted on the wall and includes rabbit, iguana, armadillo, and turtle eggs? I love having the Pacific a half hour drive away, and same for mountains.  I love the comfort food (sorbete, plantains, pupusas, beans, and such) even though I gained about a pound a day that I'll now have to run back off. I've been offered a job there, and am tempted, but I'm holding out for the US. What's meant to happen will happen, I suppose. El Salvador has so many problems that even though I want to be with my husband, I also want to be safe and finacially sound, and he agrees. 
I'm also happy to note that there are still lots of nice people in airports, contrary to my previous international travel experiences.  The cat's kennel/bag lost a zipper at the first security checkpoint in San Salvador when I had to take him out. A nice couple gave me all their safety pins and luggage locks, and helped me punch holes in the bag to try to keep it closed.  This got me back to the gate, where a very nice police officer pulled out his leatherman and tried to fix the zipper, along with another airport employee.  This didn't end up working, so he went and found someone from Continental to help.  The Continental guy and a lady from the duty free shop next to the gate punched more holes in the bag and then laced packing tape through it. Thank you, friendly airport people!  In Houston, other travelers helped me get the cat out and through security, thank you all, too!  It's nice to be proven wrong about grumpy people in airports, and I had more enjoyable conversations in one day than I've had in the past four years traveling thanks to one pretty black and white Salvadoran cat (who was adopted from

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