I usually get the royal birthday treatment at home because mine is the first in the "birthday season" as my friends and I refer to the period between Halloween and New Years when almost everyone we know has a birthday. At the very least, there is schnapps for the grown-ups while the 20 or so kids in my neighborhood come by for candy. This year is a little different but still fun. And it isn't over yet.
Started celebrating with a chinese dinner in Managua last night. We were the only ones in the restaurant. The owner was from Hong Kong by way of the Bay Area and he was very attentive, but I can't say it was like Vancouver.
Since today I get to do whatever I want, I went running, bought donuts from the lady walking down Calzada and ate a big Nica breakfast. Then I made Jonathan accompany me to the Masaya Municipal market. I bought another apron, a plastic basket, and lots of flowers. We priced 100 pound bags of rice and beans for our trip up North.
We had Cokes in the Central Park and in a sign that it truly is my day, a lady came by with my favorite honey. She wanted to quit for the day so I bought all four beer bottles she had left for 2 bucks a piece. She wanted me to buy her a soda, too, and this is a sign of how long I have been here, I refused. I wanted to check out the Yucca festival, so Jonathan complied. There was a small festival area set up in Estacion featuring agricultural products, in particular, Yucca. I was surprised to see that it looks like a small shrub with potatoes attached for feet. I was also surprised to see Pithaya wine, so I bought two bottles, one red and one white. Although how you make anything white out of Pithaya is beyond me. I asked the guy selling it, but the music accompaning the small girls dancing on the stage in traditional dress was too loud for me to hear his response.
It began to rain really hard, as if all the rain that had been missing for the winter decided to fall on the Yucca festival in Masaya. I still had one more stop I wanted to make, Marisol Embroidery which was half a block behind the Yucca festival, but we got in the car and made a really big circle just so we wouldn't get wet. They shop had lovely cotton dresses and tops with embroidery and elegant linen suits and dresses. I bought a white gauzy sundress that is way to young for me. Really, I think it is a girl's dress. I saw a few things I liked, but they were too big so I asked if they could make me a smaller dress. I ordered a mint green linen sheath dress with cut out embroidery. The daughter of the owners waited on me, taking all my measurements for the dress. 82 cm seams like so much more than 32 inches. The dress will be ready in a week and cost 25 dollars.
I have been in Nicaragua a long time now, so I will not celebrate what a good deal this is until I actually get my dress. I asked if she had one of the blouses she was wearing in my size. No she said. Well, make me one of those, too I said.
We drove out of Masaya on roads that were muddy rivers, but they only went over the bottom of the car for about a block. My Danish/Chilean neighbors brought me flowers. Laurence and Thelma are coming by with my fruit custard tart later and I have decided to go to Chico Tripa for dinner.