Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Please Blow Your Nose Story

                                                             The Please Blow Your Nose Story
                                               This true story happened in the Dominican Republic
                                                                       Written 05/26/2016
                                                                            Howard Yasgar  

     In 1968 I had talked my good friend Miguel Marquez into traveling with me to the Dominican Republic to try and locate the Christopher Columbus colony of Isabella, I had a theory that I was trying to prove.
     My theory was that once I found the actual colony, I would be able to find locations of where some of his unruly colonists had buried the gold they had taken from the local Indians.  On this trip I had a 1776 map given to me by Dr. Marc Bulliet the archeologist in Haiti. So by using this detailed map, I was hoping to be able to prove my theory correct.
    We left Miami, flying to Santo Domingo the capitol of the Dominican Republic, once there we rented a car, and
I stopped by a grocery store and loaded up the trunk with canned food and soda. I knew that once we reached the north coast of the island there were few stores, so it would be better if we had food, just in case.
     In Santo Domingo we usually stayed at the Pan American Hotel. And in the morning we made the drive to the city of Santiago de los Caballeros, the second largest city in the Dominican Republic. In Santiago I had a favorite
Restaurant called “EL Garden de Eden”, it was on the right side of the road up on a hill. They made a pizza using
American cheese. It was so different that it became my favorite so I always stopped there.
     After our lunch we headed for a long ride over the Cordillera Mountains heading for the city of Puerto Plata
Which was on the islands North coast. 1968 was way before they paved the road over the mountains, so by the time we reached the North coast everything in the car was rattling and falling apart. Once we were in Puerto Plata we stayed in a big old wooden hotel that was overlooking the ocean. I had stayed there several times so the manager now treated us like we were regular customers.
     In the morning we headed for the colony of Isabella, and that’s where this story takes place.
     In the Isabella area there are really no stores to get something to eat, and that was the reason I had bought bread and different kinds of canned meats when we were in Santo Domingo.
      At lunch time Miguel and I thought about making a sandwich. The problem was, as foreigners we attracted a lot of attention from the locals who always gathered around us where ever we went. So eating in front of them was always embarrassing as they never had any of the kinds of food that we had. In the past I had watched as kids took our empty cans out of the trash, and ran their fingers in them just to taste what we ate. So Miguel and I decided to drive somewhere where there were no people watching us and we could eat in peace. We got in our car and I drove down a dirt road until we reached a river. The river was several hundred yards wide with a big dry area right in the middle. Miguel checked the river and said it was only about 6 inches deep and had a hard packed bottom, so I drove into the water and onto the dry area in the center of the river. As I looked around there wasn’t a person to be seen in any direction.
    I went into the car’s trunk and got a loaf of sliced bread and a can of spam. Then I got in the car on the passenger side, Miguel was in the driver’s seat, his back and head was resting against the window.  The car was air conditioned so all the windows were up. I tore open a brown paper bag and put it on the seat between us and I opened the can of spam and made two sandwiches. Miguel took one sandwich and took a big bite out of it, I did the same with mine. As I was looking at Miguel, a small round mulatto face appeared in the window next to Miguel’s face. He was a little boy who couldn’t have been more than 5 years old, His two hands were tightly gripped on the outside window sill and his face was pressed into the window looking at us. And running out of his nose was the biggest green snot I had ever seen in my life, it ran from his nostril all the way to his mouth. Miguel saw me staring and turned his head to the left to look. When he saw the kid’s green snot which was about 6 inches from Miguel’s face but on the other side of the window, he choked up his piece of sandwich.  Then Miguel yelled in Spanish “go clean you face in the water” The little kid released his grip on the door and I saw him washing his face. Miguel got out of the car and gave the boy his sandwich, we had both had suddenly lost our appetite.    


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