The day 3
On the way to my hotel we stopped at Alejandro's apartment. He got a small bag for me in which I could take my things for the night and for the party. He proudly showed me his orange tree and a small pretty garden with many home-grown flowers, in which he often spent his free time. We left around three in the afternoon. Towards San Diego. We drove slowly - the famous LA rush hour. But with good music and interesting conversations, it was tolerable. If good conversations with my Tarzan English were even possible. But since my Spanish is better than my English, I gave way to Spanish for words I didn't know.
Alejandro is a driving virtuoso. He can talk, sing, press something on the cell phone and drive - all at the same time. But he did it all so confidently that I still felt absolutely safe. The only thing that worried me was his cough. He didn't cough properly, but a hypochondriac sees danger in everything. And a cough in the time of the corona was more than suspicious.
We arrived at Perris around 6 p.m., where most of his siblings and widowed father lived. We entered a nice, big house. A beautiful open kitchen went seamlessly into the living area, then it went to the dining area and to a corridor from which several doors led somewhere. You couldn't see the end of the passage. I recognized Alejandro's father immediately. He had an extras role in Papi Chulo. He greeted me kindly, as did Alejandro's aunt who lived in the same house. Two funny yard dogs looked at me with interest through the glass door that led into the garden. I immediately felt comfortable.
A little later we went to the other side of the street where his sister lived and where the party was to take place. This house looked huge from the outside! The same inside. A beautiful open kitchen, a living area, a dining area. At least a hundred square meters in size. Countless sisters, nieces, great nieces and great nephews scurried through the house. For the best sake, I couldn't remember who was who. The party was supposed to take place in the garden and Alejandro and I went outside to help. When I saw the garden, I first thought that the family ran a restaurant. But Alejandro explained to me that the family had children, dogs and a lot of visitors. They liked to have parties.
First you entered a covered terrace. It stretched the entire length of the house and around the corner. 13 round tables of 6 people per table easily found space. After the terrace came the actual garden. It was huge! With several gazebos in which there was a karaoke place and a place for the DJ. There was a large playground for the little ones, and a basket for basketball for the older boys. Countless stone tables and benches, beautiful flowers and garden decorations made this place an absolute oasis of wellbeing.
When more or less everything was set up, we went back into the house. We were allowed to try the food that would be served tomorrow. It was delicious. Above all, spicy. The way I like it. All those who just had the time sang karaoke. About the music that was playing on Alejandro's cell phone. Above all, his 85-year-old father, who also did a short but hot Latin dance. Although I was a complete stranger who happened to be stranded by Corona, I felt absolutely comfortable. They talked to me and were happy that I spoke Spanish. There was a lot of singing and laughing that evening. Many kisses and hugs were exchanged, many hands shaken. I tried to talk to them about keeping a distance of one meter. They just laughed. "We are a family! Nothing happens there. » I gave up. Apparently, Corona hadn't yet arrived halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego.
To be continued…