Sunday, December 23, 2007

Amigos que viven en el baño!

I don`t know why I was surprised to see a giant spider in the bathroom. I should have been more surprised if I did not see one. At first I had that "Oh, god giant spider!!!" reaction, then I said to it "OK, I will leave you alone and you will leave me alone. As long as you are not a tarantula I will not squash you and in return you will not crawl into my room." I keep making so many dumb personal observations - to myself. When you go to a tropical place, you are asking for and practiacally guaranteeing bugs in the bathroom! And of course people don`t speak english - why should they¿ This is a town known for spanish schools. I should be speaking spanish, no matter how hard I butcher it. And oh, I´ve been butchering it.
I knew things were going too smoothly in Miami. I toasted to my new vacation (and for surviving the last week at work) at the mojito bar, leafing through my Lonely planet and planning all the places I would try out when I got into town. Antigua is just a quick 45 minute taxi ride from Guatemala City. I got in the spirit by buying a "Glamour latin america" magazine. I`ll get a jump start on my spanish! I started reading about sexo and pelo styles, and makeup for navidad parties. There was even an article about Carlos Peña, who is Guatemalan and won Latin America Idol. He appears to be a sexo symobol of some sort. I was pretty excited to get the main idea of most articles and recognize words I know. I must have been concentrating really hard because I caught myself holding the magazine 6 inches from my eyes and mouthing out the words... very..slowy... then I realized how "special" I must look. haha. It`s not as cute as when little kids learn to read. They do the same thing, right¿ And they usually have an adult right there to sound out the words for them. Well I don't have that, do I¿ I only have my latin american glamour magazine. Which I wisely put away.
My flight was delayed 3 and a half hours. I was wondering, are the spanish school people even going to wait that long at the airport or am I going to have to find something in Guat City¿
OK, time out. I can´t find a regular question mark on this keyboard. But you like the upside down question mark, no¿ Si¿ Me too!
Sergio, of 28 años, was indeed waiting. We made small talk in spanglish in the car. He spoke about as much english as I do spanish so it wasn`t a very complex conversation. How old are you¿ Te gusta vive in Antigua¿ Hace frio in Chicago. lots of snow. I am on vacation for 3 semanas. Spanish school in Antigua. Me gusta el reggaeton. Y salsa. It was a pleasant ride and nothing welcomes you to Central America like the sounds of reggaeton and some latin ballads. He aplogized for stopping at a gas station but I needed some things anyhow so I went in. It was sparkling new, but no women, just about 15 guys in various stages of drunkenness buying gasoline, smokes and beer. I did get some stares. This station was outside of town and most tourists don`t drive so tall white girls usually don`t come in there. But I enjoyed the novelty of the gas station, and I had Sergio with me so all was good and I could just stare at everyone in return with no fear of anyone following me out of there.
My guesthouse is pretty ghetto. But there is a skylight in my room. Even if it´s made of plywood and plexiglass, I appreciate the thought. The bed is more comfortable than my bed at home and I have a big cheetah bedspread. I´ll try to remember to take a picture of it. We arrived at 1AM so I just went to bed. Today I`ve been wandering around, getting my bearings. I decided that I want to stay on the other side of town, where the restaurants and bars are. My street is a little deserted. Safe, but quiet and let's face it, I`m going to go out every single night for at least awhile so why not move to where those places are. I found a place on the north side of town (It's a small town - it takes maybe 20 minutes to walk from one end to another). The new place is a whopping $12 a night and the old place is $8. I stay there again tonight, then I move.
Antigua pretty much shuts down at 8PM on Sundays so I decided it was a good night to take a volcano tour. It goes from 2 to 9:30P and you have to bring your own food and flashlight. My only fear is hot molten sprays of lava. I hope that I don´t come home horribly burned or disfigured by the volcano lava. I`ll be with several other gringos so I`m looking forward to it! Tomorrow morning school starts. oh boy.
Antigua could not be more charming if it tried. multi colored buildings and every street is cobblestone. This morning I actually saw a man in his 70s, jogging on a crooked slope of cobblestones. It´s easily one of the prettiest towns I`ve ever seen - If Cuzco, Peru and Salvador, Brazil had a shy, clean baby and raised it next to a volcano, it would be Antigua. Just lovely.


sara said...

sorry about the wierd paragraph separations. This computer keeps bunching my paragraphs together. Oh well! Talk to ya tomorrow after school and volcano

K8 said...

Hola Schirmy! Or should I say G'day! It's Christmas Eve here now and I snuck away while Matt & Lizzie started cooking the big dinner we're having tonight...perfect timing! I've promised to try the black pudding they're making so wish me luck with that. I hope you had or will have (not sure what time/day it is there) a good day in school. I'm sure you'll be the teachers favorito in no tiempo.

Kate C. said...

Hola! Como se dice "Mask" in espanol? If you get sprayed by lava, that will be my new nickname for you!

Sounds like you are having a good time so far. Like Thanksgiving, did you get an attitude at the gas station and decide not to write about it ;-)

Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Hi Sara,
Amy Boeka (Laux) and I have been reading your blog for the past 20 minutes. You are hilarious and BRAVE! We are jealous...your trip looks absolutely amazing. Safe travels back!
Emily (Hebert) and Amy