Friday, July 6, 2007

Seis de Julio

Seis de Julio?

Even putting our heads together we cannot always remember what day of the week it is.

Today was another crazy day getting the café in order. The mock opening was postponed until tomorrow, as expected, because of course tables haven’t shown up and it still looks like a construction site.

The film crew, however, did record a bit of the boys preparing food in the kitchen today. All the white people had their panties in a bunch because they didn’t want the café represented in its current disarray, but Adam and I argued that it is a perfect way to represent the café because it is REAL.
“ But the boys can’t even wash their hands because there is no running water,” everyone whined. “They aren’t wearing their aprons because they haven’t been delivered yet. The food isn’t completely fresh because the refrigerator isn’t working, and the kitchen counter hasn’t been installed yet….”
“EXACTLY!” we hollered. “This is exactly what it’s like trying to open up a restaurant in Nicaragua… the film crew should be recording this chaos.”

At least the bathroom is painted. Its taken me 4 days to salvage the awful cement work the boys did and since we had only a tiny bit of three colors left over (piss yellow, cotton candy blue and dried blood red) I was about to refuse all credit for slaving away on it. I didn’t want my name attached to some nasty paint job.
But then I dug deep into my Carol Fox box, remembering how to do great things with minimal, even unfavorable resources, and I created a masterpiece to be (somewhat) proud of.

Do you have any idea how difficult it is to make a perfect swirl???

Well let me tell you, every single person who walked thru that café today, curious about the girl painting in the bathroom… THEY think its easy to paint a giant freaking SWIRL.

“Oh, aquí. Tu necesitas pintar más aquí. Allá, tambien. Y aquí. Tu SWIRL no es perfecto.”

Every 5 minutes a different spanish stranger pokes their head in with some futile opinion. GeeZe! Let a Muchacha paint a bathroom! Finally fed up, I lock myself in with the paint fumes and complete my project in peace.

The original artist:

She used a lot of swirls throughout the café, so I attempted to replicate a part of her theme.

On our walk home tonight, we passed our neighbor who repairs bikes in his living room. He is very handsome, probably in his mid/early/late twenties/thirties/forties, and is always zipping up and down our street testing the bikes he’s just fixed. He has the ripped, energetic body of a twenty-year-old, the young bright wise eyes of a thirty-year-old, and the creases and crows feet of a forty-year-old. We pass each other several times a day and never exchange more than smiles and “hola’s.”
Tonight, as we walked by him he smiled and added to his smile a meek word…
“Mangos?” he asked us, shyly extending a worn potato sack in his hand.
“No. no..” we instinctually replied, having grown accustomed to refusing the many pushy offers to buy things from street vendors every day. We kept walking.

But during dinner tonight, pondering the bicycle repair man, I realized something.

I do believe our neighbor wanted to GIVE us some mangos. I think he was bashfully attempting a friendship with us in that moment and, looking back, it must have seem like we snubbed his generosity. I haven’t stopped thinking about this all night.

We must make this right. I think tomorrow when we inevitably pass him on the street, we will finally introduce ourselves to this kind man and find out who he is and what he is like.

Here are a few of our other neighbors:

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