The Astounding Travel Adventures of a Miraculous Fellow

Whoops There it is. “It” being a scorpion.
June 8, 2008, 10:56 pm
Filed under: The Salvador


This morning started off with a bang – a vicious, creeping, painful bang.  After I took my “shower” (pouring a bucket of dirty water over my head) I was drying off with my towel when I noticed a strange piercing feeling in my leg.  At first, it felt like pulling out 3 or 4 leg hairs at once.  One second later, it felt like pulling three or four legs off at once (thankfully, I only have two, so the pain wasn’t quite as fierce).


I quickly leaned over to see where the pain was coming from and a little red hole was already beginning to puff up on my shin.  With a terribly nervous feeling, I shook out my towel.




Just as I had feared – out fell a scorpion.  Unfortunately, it was not one of the Scorpions from the kick butt rock ‘n’ roll band that brought us such terrific hits as…um…that one with the guitar riffs…well, it would be silly to only list a couple of hits since we know them all so well.

Alas, it was a scorpion of the animal type.  It was about 3 inches long, brown, menacing, and clearly not comprehending that its previous actions meant that it was about to be pulverized.  With my fury rapidly acquiescing to the oncoming rush of blinding fear, I decided my last task before I die was to stomp the tar out of the little bastard.  Still dripping wet with my towel around my waist and my leg beginning to throb painfully, I stepped back, raised my flip-flop laden foot, unleashed a mighty stomp, and rocked him like a hurricane.


My leg now felt like it weighed 400 pounds and burned like the Sun, so I went to Señora Concha and told her to add me to the list of death by scorpion.

Now, apparently this circumstance is a grand occasion in El Salvador, because some random guy came off the street and excitedly started asking me if I could feel my tongue (I was pretty sure he wasn’t a doctor so I donkey punched him in the gonads until he wandered off).  It was at this point I learned that Salvadoran scorpions aren’t deadly.  I guess it isn’t such a big deal so get stung; even though they are poisonous, usually your mouth just goes numb and you can’t feel your tongue (that crazy street doctor was right, I hope your gonad swelling has gone down, buddy).  Unfortunately for me, this email has taken 34 hours to write because I can only move my left thumb, so I might have had a worse reaction than most.


Actually, although it hurt like a son of a gun for about four hours, the pain wore off and I feel lucky that the little bugger was on a lower part of my towel and decided to only get me in the legs.  I could have been far, far worse: say, if he got me in my jewels.  Oh, Sweet God in Heaven, you would have heard me howl like the dickens if it got my jewels.


Alas, I am fine; although now it takes me 3 hours to dress myself due to the deathly fear of scorpions hiding in my belongings.  I now check my shoes, my socks, my towel, my toothbrush, my toothpaste container, my bar of soap, the remote control, my bike, and the kids in my house to make sure they aren’t collaborating with the scorpions to get me.


So, hopefully that is my only encounter with scorpions, because they are not cool.  Not even the cool ones who ride in the back of the bus are cool.

Anywho, I’m back in the countryside again.  My week of vacations was excellent: air conditioning, couches, TV in English (Dawson’s Creek just ain’t the same in Spanish), cold water, and scorpion-free showers.  Oh, and no roosters.


As soon as I got back, while lying in my bed sweating my eyes out, I formulated my plan for the eradication of all roosters.  Now, we’ve all seen the cartoons with the lovable Loony Toons rooster who runs around and says marvelously entertaining things, right?  Well, we were lied to.  They aren’t like this in the least.  Roosters don’t simply crow once gloriously at the crack of dawn then rest until the next morning; at least not Salvadoran roosters.  They like play a little game whereupon one horrifically loud rooster crows at 3 A.M and wakes me up.  Then just after I’ve fallen back asleep, another one crows.  And this continues all night long.  It’s like a competition amongst roosters – a competition…from hell.


So, it has been decided, they’re going down. The streets will run with the blood of roosters once I get my hands on a machete (one that’s been thoroughly checked for scorpions), and can convince my neighbors to join in my cause (what’s “streets run with rooster blood” in Spanish?)  They’ll rue the day they crossed the path of a gringo loco!

Well, I’m pretty glad to be back in Salinas again, even with its lack of luxuries like clean water.  My boss/buddy/guy-who-likes-to-make-sure-he-has-someone-not-to-work-with, Luis, told me we today we had lots of work to do.  But, within an hour of hurrying back to Salinas from San Salvador, he handed me a fishing pole and we went to “work” – fishing all afternoon.  The next day we left work on the project early to “go to the office” – and drink some beers.  Luis is a great boss: he’s super cool, lets me drive the motorcycle around town (which I may incorporate in my plot against rooster kind) and is the only person in El Salvador who speaks any English – even though it’s pretty bad.  He has a problem with mixing up “he” and “she” so I usually have no idea who the hell he’s talking about.  And, he has a joke for every situation, none of which I understand in Spanish, but the translation to English only makes them less funny.  So he’ll tell me a joke, and I’ll fake laugh, then I’ll ask if I can ride the motorcycle again.  His best English comes when a girl walks by and he says “beeeeeuteeful baby.”


But, I finally did get to do some work, and am happy to be back amongst the campesinos. The people in the countryside are so cool and friendly, and always stop to talk to me, even if I only understand half of what they’re saying.  (Helpful hint: if you don’t understand what someone is saying, do not simply answer “sí” to whatever they say: you could end up marrying someone’s pig, or donating your kidneys to the local drunk, Enrique; or worse, marrying the local drunk Enrique’s pig while…eating…kidney…beans? (Hmm…something like that.)  Anywho, everyone is really cool and I get invited all over the place to do random activities that I would never do normally because people get a kick out of a blond haired, blue eyed gringo who can curse like a Spanish pirate.

Well, that’s it from here, another episode in the epic tale of “I went to El Salvador and all I brought back was this lousy T-shirt, and a scorching case of the Black Plague”.  

That’s a long title, maybe just “White Skin + El Salvador: Stories of Tremendous Hilarity”.  




How bout “Death Hounds and Scorpions: a Budget Guide to El Salvador”.






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