Friday, October 11, 2013

The Hot, Homely One

Whenever the mother of one of my English students greets me with the standard kiss on the cheek, I feel bad for exposing her to my filth. I walk everywhere in the heat and stench of midday tropical sun in the city.
All the clothes I own were acquired from Naked Lady Parties -- the equivalent of hand-me-downs for adults, which I've come to appreciate since it means I don't have to shop (a task I loathe). I don't wear make-up and am constantly sweating. I've had the same 4 oz bottle of perfume for almost 4 years (translation: I rarely use the stuff).
She dresses impeccably, her face ready for a photo shoot at any moment and her cheek is more than cool, it's actually chilled from being in the refreshing A/C of her car. Even her offspring, a 7-year-old boy, dresses better than I do and probably smells better too. Oh, and she's a doctor--a career that is respected ten-thousand fold over a lowly teacher, aka me. I'm the homely one. Before you decide to look for personality flaws, as society has trained us to do when a beauty like this is in our midst, she is also caring, kind and supremely affectionate with her son.
Her cheek is usually the closest I get to A/C on any given day. Usually grocery stores and banks are air conditioned nicely, but I enter one of those establishments maybe once a month. My world is hot. Humid. Sticky. Stinky.
As I was reminiscing how refreshing she is aloud to Josh, he slowly floated into her world.
"Yeah, servicio* would be nice. And family nearby to help with the kids regularly..." he trailed off. Then, as he repeatedly pulled at his shirt front in a self-cooling move (seen too often here not to have one succinct verb to describe it), he declared:
"If I had a car, I would get a job in the capital for the long commute and hope to get stuck in traffic."
The calendar claims its October, but we're still each sweating through four t-shirts a day.

*servicio = someone who comes to your house regularly (usually daily) to cook and clean and even take care of your kids should you wish. Having "servicio" in your employ is very common here, because their salaries are so incredibly affordable (though I have no idea what "affordable" means as we've never looked into it).

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