Thursday, July 09, 2009

Oklahoma, S.A., II

Cynthia, Celeste's daughter-in-law who cooks as El Rinconcita where we are staying, made us something call marineta today. It's tenderized beef dipped in batter and fried. Chicken fried steak is, you may know, my favorite food, and this resembles chicken fried steak in the same way a nuclear bomb resembles a fire cracker. Jean and I have discussed adopting Cynthia.

I went out walking this morning and bought a bottle of soda pop. We deal with guaranie, the local currency. There are 5000 G to the dollar, so it makes the arithmetic interesting. I walk slowly, soaking up the scenery which dilutes any aerobic benefit I might get, but that is made up for in trying to cross the street. Terror is an aerobic activity.

The traffic on the road makes me think of gerbils on meth, somehow. The north-south road we take going to UC is Artigas. Artigas is a divided highway with a median about 18 inches wide. This is just wide enough to accommodate folks selling fruit if they are skinny. There are a variable number of lanes on either side of this. Anywhere from 1 to 3, depending on the need at the time. I would rather watch Paraguayans making left hand turns than Olympic gymnasts on the beam. One trip the driver was making a left turing and going through a space I thought a tad too narrow when a car passed on the right and went through the space during a moment's hesitation.

My class and I are getting along nicely. We have our first exam today. It will mark 1/4 of the way through our trip. The students are an interesting mix. While most have Spanish surnames, many have English, German, Russian, and even Asian surnames. It is a reminder that the United States is not unique in multi-ethnic makeup.


Alice said...

The chicken fried steak is called mil-e-na-sa (phonetic sp). Kurt loved it when he was there. My favorites are chipa con quatro queso (warm bread with four cheeses) and empanada de pollo (fried meat pie with chicken.) We also love the fresh fruit juice. Have you planned your trip to the falls?

Lynette Olson said...

Hard to believe you are already at the end of the first week. Sounds as though you are enjoying and absorbing the culture. Really makes me want to visit again - -