Tita - looking like a radiant movie star in her giantic sunglasses - came to greet Moo and Little Hun at the airport. But no sooner had the pair landed on Colombian soil than the little taxi (a very tiny one called a zapatico, or tiny shoe) had disappeared because the driver apparently got a bit distracted, when buying a fried snack or two to pass the time, by a carnival queen parading by in preparation for February's festivities.
The next day, the trio visited Sabanilla, a beachtown mentioned in Los cuentos de Juana as the place where a woman steals dogs from neighboring towns so she can eat them. It's also the place where Juana wants to build a house, even though Álvaro tells her that it is the ugliest beach in the whole world. It's a dry, dusty place where the trees are bendy and where Little Hun and Betty used to go to huts on the beach with their parents and grandmother to eat fried bananas to their hearts' content. This time, Tita casually offered us huevos de iguana (iguana eggs) on the bumpy ride there, as we passed by papayas the size of bellies and a church where the priest raises the dead.
Little Hun and Moo find amusement in many things: in being the only women at the country club with real boobs, in hiding from Moo's old boyfriends, in the fact that one of Tita's friend's sister had two jaguars as pets that she calls tigers (but now there is only one very pregnant jaguar-tiger because the male had to be killed for eating two dogs, including a German Shepard, and also for having eaten human flesh, as the owner was known to feed him the remains of people who had died on the farm), in the driving skills of their dearest Tita, who insists (sometimes charmingly, other times blood-curdlingly) that she does not have to stop at red lights, but only to beep rather frantically, because all of the city's bus drivers already know her, and that stop signs don't mean to stop where they are, but rather somewhere nearby, as long as its in the shade, in the fact that the last carnival queen was named "Tiviplay," and in the antics of the Tita's little darling Juanita, a furry-browed mini-schnauzer who, among other things, enjoys french fries, going to the gas station, toes, and Marlon Brando movies.Tomorrow morning the girls are off to Cartagena to listen to music in beauteous plazas and to visit some islands, where they always feel at home.