One good thing about living in Lubbock is that it's so warm you don't have to worry about getting a winter boyfriend, you know, someone to keep you warm during the cold winter months, when it’s too miserable to go outside. It's been in the mid 80°s this week.
I don't mind venturing out alone for food and dining alone. I don't even bother to take along a book anymore. The only time I felt particularly conspicuous was when I ate at the Korean place and dropped my metal chopsticks onto the tile floor. Switched to a fork after that. Since graduating, I have more free time in the evenings after piano lessons, so I think it's kind of fun to go explore local eateries. I have such specific tastes and cravings, it's definitely easier to agree with myself that I picked a lovely place to go to rather than negotiate with another party. But there are the drawbacks of not having another person there to share and trade entrées with or with whom to discuss the food.
I recently got it into my mind to get some Salvadorean food. The only Salvadorean restaurant around, El Salvador Pupusería Y Restaurant, is west of town. I started mapping the drive out and found that not only was the place a good long drive away from work and home, it was out in the sticks. I have some experience with narrow, unmarked country roads, having grown up in the boonies myself. I knew the major roads to get out there, no problem.
But there was a problem. Google Maps let me down, despite all my love for it. I drove and drove down the dark road, without spotting the restaurant. I finally turned around and headed for home, which took some doing, as I traveled at a crawl and made some wrong turns that slowed me down. I had to admit that I'd turned into one of those city slickers I made fun of that acted like they couldn't find my house in the country or drove 35 mph down the roads I maxed out the speedometer on. I got home and ate Reese's cups for dinner.
Determined to try again the next day, I Google mapped the route again trying to figure out where I went wrong. (My instincts tell me that "Google map" is not a verb. Neither is "text," for that matter. "Tweet" is okay, though I keep seeing "Twit this" which isn't right, but whatever. I'm starting a group protesting the noun-->verb creep and the constant use of emoticons. It's an outrage, I say! I need more nerdy friends. Or should that be nerdier friends?) Lo and behold, our restaurant was magically on a different spot on the map this time. I decided I needed to go farther west, and I tried again that night to find the place.
I drove down the dark road again, this time coming from the west. Again, my map was off, this time by three miles. I happened to spot the restaurant despite the darkness and whipped the car into the dirt driveway. The building was dark and vacant. I got out and checked the hours posted on the door, only to find I'd missed closing time by a few minutes. They certainly cleared out quickly.
So the next day, attempt number three, and this time I was successful.
If you need a primer on pupusas
When I was in New York, I tried a pupusa at the Brooklyn Flea (winter indoors edition). Lubbockites would be proud to know that the El Salvador Pupusería Y Restaurant pupusa kicked that one to the curb. Small victories.