In this reflective piece, Patricia Trigueros muses on the things to do in San Salvador, El Salvador when you’re on your own.
We’re accustomed to the idea of dating as a means to a relationship between two people. What we’re less accustomed to is the concept of dating oneself.
A friend of mine described it this way: he said he was having a date at a bar called Loneliness.
“Where’s that?” I asked.
It was a Sunday thing, usually, and it called for a table that resembled a desk and a scenic view. It resulted in moderate amusement – a couple of drinks accompanied by Miles Davis. The table served as the shield for dining alone – Samuel Beckett plays, a collection of Bukowski poems, or that journal received as a birthday gift, filled with illustrated paragraphs of a personal life. The view was one to lose yourself in, allowing your internal monologue to waltz around with the landscape.
In San Salvador, from the slopes of Volcán San Salvador, where the city has decided to spread itself, you get to see the web of streets and lights, recognize old and new buildings, stadiums, and… what’s that over there? Lake Ilopango appearing majestic, with more volcanoes looming behind it.
It has nothing to do with being single. Dating oneself is about taking oneself out. If you enjoy your own company, why not?
Indulge in the things you love to complement your alone time.
— Central America Living (@VidaAmerica) October 11, 2023
What would you like to do today?
You can try something new or revisit that familiar place you adore.
Screenings of classic films are a wonderful way to break the habit of never going to the movies alone. If Cinemark La Gran Vía is featuring one of their regular cycles of classic films, watching The Godfather is a great way to spend your afternoon. If you’re in the mood for a new movie, a trip to Multiplaza might be a better choice. There, you’ll also find Librería Internacional. You’ll browse the books, undecided, until you stumble upon the perfect new book (or books) to while away your time with. Take it with you, pause for coffee, and tune out the bustling crowd. Weekends typically allow for some quality “me time.”
Elsewhere, peruse the cultural calendars around the city.
There will be invitations to Italian film screenings at the Museo Nacional de Antropología (MUNA), French cinema at La Alianza Francesa de San Salvador, and art exhibitions at the Centro Cultural de España (CCESV) or La Casa Tomada. You don’t need a companion to socialize at art openings.https://www.ccesv.org/la-casa-tomada/
Oh, and a date with yourself can be the perfect prelude to another date. After you’ve explored the galleries of the Museo de Arte de El Salvador (MARTE) and before you meet someone for dinner, order a drink at the bar. A quick interlude for you and your thoughts before you think, “What are we having for dinner?”
— Central America Living (@VidaAmerica) October 5, 2023
There are always “we moments” you’ll find yourself in: colleagues, friends, family, partners. That’s why I cherish the “me moments”
Like right before a meeting when I can savor my coffee just the way I like it, or when I pause for a meal amidst errands.
Intermittently, between chunks of activities in my schedule, I’ll order coffee at Viva Espresso. With several branches, it’s where I get to savor specialty coffees from different plantations across El Salvador.
Le Croissant is always a reliable choice for impromptu snacks, and Básico is my favorite stop for meals on the go. Take your salad wherever you decide to sit, and pop in your headphones to engage your ears with a podcast. What would you like to listen to today?
I’ve been practicing this solo dating ritual for years and have since discovered that I thoroughly enjoy dating myself in San Salvador. I like to take a leisurely breakfast, extending that date with a book or a notebook.
I relish my solo dates.
Patricia Trigueros is a free spirit, writer, and translator from El Salvador. She has the habit of drinking too much coffee and writing in English, French, and Spanish. Check out her blog or follow her on Twitter and Instagram.