Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Frilly Aprons, Machetes, & Secret Underpanties

Every Tuesday and Friday are market days in Usulutan - the nearest town to where we are moored here in El Salvador. We always go along in the private van even if we don't need to shop. It's entertaining and educational to go watch the local people and try new foods.

When was the last time you saw a woman wearing an apron - a FRILLY apron? Yeah, I thought so, my grandmother wore one when she cooked too, but never out in public. Well, these little beauties are extremely popular here. The variety of styles are endless, but one thing is the same...they all have lots of emblishments of lace, riffles, ribbons, etc. and they have a secret zipper compartment(s) for the wearer's valuables.
Pickpockets, purse-snatchers, and other common theives are quite common here. These aprons provide a little security. No purses to snatch. You want to know what else? The women also wear special secret underpanties!

No...I'm not kidding. I actually bought some too. The seller told me to put Jonesy's wallet in the special pockets for safe keeping too. So...who gets to fish out the wallet when it is needed?
The first pair I found only cost $1US! The pocket is in the center front. Hmmmm....I don't want to put too much in here as it will just make my tummy look bigger. The next pair I bought cost twice as much ($2), but had TWO zipper pockets.
Yes, I wear these now with my skirts and only carry a plastic market basket into town. No purse. And yes, I wear either long pants or a skirt as that is the local custom and I don't like to stand out as a gringo tourist. I also wear sunglasses as much as possible to hide my blue eyes. I find that people stare at me a lot less if they don't see my eyes.

Did you also notice that these underpanties have long legs? Yep - no "chub-rub" of the inner thigh with these! That was one of the first things I wondered about when I noticed that most of the women my age (and anyone over 18) wore skirts, and were shaped like me. How do they prevent chub-rub? And these are the answer! They are great!
Another thing we noticed is that quite a few of the men carry machetes with them. Often they are carried in decorative leather sheaths. Okay. So, I'm a man, and I have to go to town to buy something, and to eat at the local cafeteria, and I need to carry my great big knife with me? I guess if you are Salvadoran then the answer is yes.

Even the street-sweeper guys carried machetes. So, I scoop up some litter and put it in my wheelbarrow topped with a basket, lop off a guy's arm, or cut some sugarcane, and continue down the street?

I think it's more of a macho thing. Ah, Latin America. I guess it's better than a concealed gun like in the USA. Speaking of which, men also wear a lot of automatic weapons and pistols here. Even to "guard" the local ice cream parlor there is a uniformed man with an automatic rifle slung over his shoulder.
The dogs of El Salvador don't appear as healthy or as numerous as in Mexico. What is also odd is that they all look alike - that feral yellow short-haired dog look.
Salvadorans live behind high walls with razor wire on top. They may have happy, clean doggies hidden away with them. So all we see are the street dogs.
These poor beasts break my heart.

Happy New Year!
I still have several of my mother's and grandmother's frilly aprons with pockets -- but no zippers! And those unders look just like the petti-pants we loved in the 60's because they stopped chub-rub and we didn't have clingy slips that walked up to our waists constantly! Maybe they'll come back in popularity here!
Oh my - I laughed at chub-rub.

The dogs break my heart too.

I'm guessing since you didn't mention Jonsey's tooth all's well? Hope so.
tee hee...chub rub LOL

Poor Puppies... I couldnt go down there, i would come back with a bunch of dogs!
I know of a woman who just recently went on vacation to Anguilla and came home with a dog....what an expensive trinket that would be. Love reading and the pictures are worth a million words...Darrlaa
I totally want a pair (or two!) of those panties!!! They would be awesome for traveling in foreign countries, going to concerts, or anyplace where I'll be riding crowded subway-style public transportation...wish they were available here in the U.S.!

Aw, poor doggies! Developing countries just don't treat animals the way we do; I guess if you are struggling to feed your family, you can't give a lot of energy or thought, not to mention food, to homeless animals. Too sad!

Deborah in Benicia, CA.
Cool undies! Yep - I hate that chub rub too, I just didn't know what it was called. I used to wear something similar under my dresses when I worked in the US.
Love the stores and pics!!!
Wish we were down there with you...
But heading to the mainland manana!
Enjoy :)

PS Guess what the word verification is?
Sounds like Cyclades - how we met you!
Well It look like you could sell some of those drawers on etsy and maybe make a buck or two! Heck I would buy some just for the chub rub! thats why I don't wear skirts anymore. How cute! Love reading about your travles, and I keep my DH up to date on it also. I have turned some of my friends onto your blog. We were in Cabo about the same time you were, I could live there. Hasta manana!
Gotta love those secret undies with the hidden pockets. Wish they sold them here. I agree they'd be great for travel, etc. I love reading about your travels and seeing your beautiful knitting projects!
Hope you had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.... The Doggies break my heart bad.... Looking forward to seeing more goodies from all your travels...I SO missed your blog and talking to you.
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