12 February 2023

This has disaster written all over it

Normally, I am not the adventurous one when it comes to food. For breakfast, give me my daily fruit and vegetables and peace shall be held the rest of the day. In a pinch, I will resort to eggs and that is about it.

Sharmila, on the other hand, never ceases to try out local food. Which typically means half the time, she will steal food from my plate. And chalk up one more food name to the list that she will not try again. Incidentally, as I sat down for breakfast here in El Salvador, she sent a picture of having a gin and tonic at the hotel bar in Agra. True to form, she is having a local gin (Jaisalmer).

This time though, throwing caution to the winds, I decided to try whatever the lady was making at the end of the breakfast bar. I quickly surveyed and came back. Then I asked Raquel what was the name of the food. I met Raquel yesterday and her English was a bit better than my Spanish. That is something different in this country from every other Spanish speaking country I have been to. Very few people understand English here – even in their best hotel in the capital city.

“Pupusa, Senor!”

“Gracias, Raquel!”

Armed with no more knowledge than the name of the food, I went back to the stall. And carefully watched the proceedings with the previous customer. Hoping to cut and paste most of the conversation.

In an exchange uncannily reminiscent of Srini and I ordering at a Macdonald’s for the first time after landing in the USA, this is what happened…


“Si, Senora”, I boldly put a quarter of my sum total of known Spanish words forward.

Then she counterattacked with a lot of Spanish words. I was smart enough to understand that there was a question mark in the end. But not smart enough to do anything but stare at her helplessly.

Then she said more things. I got the last word – queso! I knew that word. I avoid cheese.

“No queso!”, I replied with some degree of satisfaction.

Then she volleyed some more Spanish words at me.

This time, I panicked. Summarily abandoning my Spanish, I said “Yes!”. Figured let her put everything else in it and I will just leave the whole Pupusa thing at my table.

My friendly fruits and vegetables was only one stall away.

Now, I am sitting with my misadventure at my table. Lest anybody around me think I am a village bum, I pointedly took some pictures and posted them on my Facebook to show off my sophistication!!

Where is a good masala dosa when you really need it?

Posted February 12, 2023 by Rajib Roy in category "Vacations

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