Calling a taxi is still not easy. Directing a taxi where to go, when you yourself are not exactly sure, is even more difficult. This is why my friend Anna and I ended up at the wrong university stadium last Saturday. By the time we drove to the correct stadium, we missed the walking tour we wanted to participate in. However, Honduras has definitely instilled an attitude of “go with it,” in us so we thanked our driver, made a few phone calls, and changed our plans.
We started by checking out the marketplace in Tegucigalpa. It was bigger than any farmer’s market I’ve ever seen, with booths full of fresh beets, pataste, papaya, squash, pineapple, and any other food you could imagine. Everyone was yelling and kids were riding on their parents' shoulders, and it was just so much fun. We bought pupusas from a vendor and walked past butcher stalls to watch a makeshift dairy churn cheese in huge plastic barrels. Honduran cheese is different from the cheese we're used to. There's quesillo, which is kind of like mozzarella; but most dishes use a hard, salty, crumbly cheese that I still haven't learned to appreciate.
From the market, we walked to Central Park. Everyone we passed by was enormously helpful. People offered directions without us asking, some even welcomed us to the city. Our next stop was the National Art Gallery. A local orchestra was practicing in one of the empty rooms upstairs, so the entire time we browsed, we were serenaded. Overall, I was quite impressed by the innovation and quality of some of the work in the museum.
All in all, it was a great cultural experience. We met tons of kind people, used our Spanish enough to call taxis and talk about consumer rights with a curious passer-by. It’s also nice to feel like I’m figuring out a city. We were almost giddily exited when we realized we could get from Congress, to downtown, to the market, and back if we wanted to. A second-hand store attendant recognized us from last week, and we found a new favorite bakery. At the end of the day, we saw the walking tour that we had missed -- a group of tourists, everyone with expensive cameras, staring at things though their lenses. I think we ended up getting the better part of the deal.