Thursday, September 07, 2006

My Trip to El Salvador [Introduction]

I have been waiting for this trip with a great anticipation, since last March actually.

My good old friend Antonio Blanco Rodriguez ‘Tony’ lives in San Salvador for a while now.

We havent seen each other for about 9 or 10 years. He is a good friend, very important in my past. Since our, long gone teen days, until our late 20s.

We bumped into each other in 1986 in the most casual way in 'Sant Andreu de Llavaneres', a tiny village 25 miles from Barcelona where the upper class used to go to their big summertime Vilas since the early 20th century.

He lived there, and I was just an student on holidays.

I worked in a local pub to get some extra cash during the Summer season and Tony used to work late nights in a trendy club in the area called 'Quattro' in 'Caldes d'Estrach' [Caldetes] about 3 miles away.

He normally would come over after lunch to get some iced coffee and we used to chat briefly about the music I used to play back then [You know, the usual suspects in the 80s!].

Nothing special so far, aside from the fact that he used to disappear repeatedly without paying me!


I was not bothered about it though and never reported it to the management. I always liked Antonio Blanco Rodriguez attitude, maybe because he looked to me very different from the people there. The way he dressed, manners, etc... in such a conservative place. I thought he was, unwittingly, a sort of a very cosmopolitan bloke in a really small place.

Few months later, in the summer of 1987 I think, I bumped into him in the mentioned club where he was working at the bar, and I had the nice surprise to find out I didnt have to pay my drinks there anymore.

Fair deal innit?

Nice one!


That was the start of a very good friendship.

We lived pretty intense experiences together, from my late teens until my early 30s, and while we were living in Manchester in 1997, we lost the track of each other.

Since then I‘ve been asking myself where my friend Tony [Antonio Blanco Rodriguez] was.

So one day I decided to pay his parents a visit and get his mobile number.

Pedro Vila and Antonio Blanco Rodriguez Sta. Monica, LosAngeles. 1990

It took me a while to ring him though...lots of doubts:

What is he like now? Is he the same Tony I did meet in the mid 80s? Would he want to hear about me?, Do we have still lot of things in common as we used to?

'Maybe I could go and see him, if he invites me, of course!'

Few days after I decided to ring him, and after the obvious shock from my call, and 5 intense minutes of chat, we arranged a meeting for August!

Antonio Blanco Rodriguez and Pedro Vila in Seattle 1990


Antonio Blanco Rodriguez and Pedro Vila Arenys de Mar 1988

I have never been in the area, well Dominican Republic the closest, but something was telling me that trip was going to be very very different.

The very next morning I started to look for flight tickets to San Salvador.

This is [part] of the story of my trip.

Link part 2 [sigue parte 2]

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