Evidently carrying a machete in San Salvador doesn’t help you blend in.

Guys, I bought a machete today. Every man in El Salvador owns a machete. I’m a man in El Salvador… now with a machete.

picstitch-2This morning I paid twenty cents and braved the insane bus system to get across town to the Mercado Central of San Salvador. This market is huge. In the poor east side of the city, this place is where locals do their shopping. Stall after stall of everything imaginable. Including machetes. I got a pretty sweet one with a decorated and tassled sheath for $15. Some poor dude watching one of hundreds of booths selling tools and oven parts and various metal nonsense made the mistake of asking me what I was looking for. We got most of the vendors in the area involved in the transaction and I saw some pretty badass knives. Turns out knives under one foot long are illegal – although I was told they’re suuuuper easy to conceal.

So I walk out onto the street carrying a machete that’s pushing two feet long. All of a sudden everybody is paying attention to me. The dude with a lizard on his hat tried real hard to get me to buy his tomatoes. An drunk grabbed me and kept at me until I finally shoved him and beat it in the opposite direction. Another older gentleman IMMEDIATELY fell in behind me shouting “Jesu Christo make you happy.” Evidently that’s all he wanted to tell me because after my “Okay, Gracias,” he waved goodbye. It got weird, but I survived.

Tomorrow I’m off to Nicaragua… Hopefully. Volcano surfing, kayaking, spanish lessons, coffee plantations, monkey islands, and some weird hippy music festival. Just me and my machete.

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