Day Three in Antigua

Antigua Travel Blog

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Day Three, Sunday:

Since the bedroom assigned to me had no windows and the door was

solid, I had no idea what time it was, but because of the

stirrings I could hear in the house I knew that it was around 6

or 7 A.M. By the time I decided to flip on the light (after

laying around for an hour or so) it was 8:30. When I emerged

from the bedroom I found I was the only one at home. Everyone

else had gone to church. I found my breakfast, an omelet in kind

of an insulated container, and a thermos of hot water for coffee.

I used the stove to heat up the omelet a bit more and breakfasted


After a shower, I dressed and went into town. I actually had some

shopping to do. The night before had left me the definite

impression that I need a better pillow. The one I had (and I'm

sure the one everyone in Guatemala uses) is a simple pillow

shaped wad of cotton. It may have been fluffy at one time but it

seemed really solid and hard to me, ( just like the mattress,

(there were three thin ones stacked up). Anyway a pillow purchase

seemed inevitable. I also wanted a little rug for my room and

some thongs and some running shorts and some bottled water and

maybe some toothpaste and toilet paper just in case. At the

market I found myself not very interested in shopping and thought

maybe I needed some additional caffeine.

I had two delicious cups of coffee at the Cafe As emenou (don't

ask me how to pronounce it). The cafe had a really romantic

feeling about it. I sat at a little wooden table in front of a

window overlooking the cobble stone street. Above, the sky was

cloudy but occasionally a hole would appear and let some sun in.

I could catch glimpses of the top of the volcano directly south

of the city. I leisurely read and drank my coffee, after all, I

didn't have anything else to do until 8:00 the next morning.

After my coffee I ventured to Conexcion on the slim hope of a

reply to my E-mail message sent the day before. Of course there

was nothing. I then went to a nearby park where women sell

handicrafts and stuff and bargained for a pair of running shorts.

The final price: 2.93. I have another pair exactly the same at

home. Next, another more serious attempt at the market. I

purchased some thongs for $1.37, and a pillow and small rug for a

total of $6.89. and a small pen-type flashlight for 52 cents.

I returned to the house a bit embarrassed that I had purchased a

different pillow, but some how slipped it past everyone and into

my room. Carmalina, the Senora, fixed me a bowl of soup and some

chicken for dinner and we had some conversation, of which I

understood about a quarter. I asked if I could change rooms.

The night before the possibility of changing rooms came up,

when I arrived I didn't

even know that there were other rooms. As it turns out, the

house has three rooms set aside for students (but only one bathroom

for everyone). I asked to look at one of the others, and it was

clearly the best. Somewhat separated from the rest of the house

and the other two student rooms, it had one small screened window

facing the small courtyard ad adjacent to the kitchen. It was

almost twice the size as the other room and had a double bed.

Why wasn't I offered the choice of rooms in the beginning? I

think they were saving it in case a married-student-couple came.

I guess it has happened before. Anyway, I moved all of my stuff

into my new room and then decided to return to town to waste some

more time (like I am wasting yours reading this).

I returned to a place called "Cafe Cafe'" because I knew they had a television

with American broadcasts, but there was a football game on so I

really didn't care. I had another cup of coffee and decided to
return to the "casa" so I could go for a run before dark. When I

returned, No one from the family was home but a new student had

arrived. His name was Hiro (I think) and he was from Japan. He

did not speak , but spoke better Spanish than I did (and

that is not saying much.) We introduced and I excused myself for

a run. I went north on the highway out of town toward a pueblito

called San Felipe. A neighbor told me it was only 2 km and he

was right. I went a little further and came across another

little village. Jocotenengo. Both seemed very interesting. I

hope to get back soon. When I returned I showered again then

went to a little store next door and bought some beer and sat

down with Hiro and talked about everything we could with our

limited use of 1 common language (why can't everyone just speak it?).

45 minutes or an hour after our conversation began, the Senora

arrived with yet another student. His name was Dan and after a

couple of awkward Spanish speaking moments, I found out he was

from New Zealand and English was his mother tongue; thank god!

Dan and I tried to occasionally speak Spanish to keep Hiro in the

conversation, but Dan's Spanish vocabulary was very limited and

we soon began speaking entirely in . It was discussed

amongst the three of us that most likely no Sunday meal was

provided and I mentioned that I would wander into town for a

bite. Dan accompanied me. Hiro stayed behind.

Dan was a very interesting fellow. It seems that since New

Zealand is part of the British commonwealth, the Kiwis can visit

and work in any other commonwealth state with a visa that lasts

for 2 1/2 years. He is winding up his tour next month and

thought while he was in the Northern hemisphere he would take a

tour of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Belize before returning

to Los Angeles to take his flight home to New Zealand. He had

been working in London Banks and making trips from there for the

first two years. He said that is a popular thing for people his

age (24) to do, fresh out of college, because it's a one time

offer and you can't do it again.

After our dinner at a cheap hamburger joint (I had ham and

cheese) we returned home and I spent the rest of the evening

typing the very thing you are reading.

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photo by: monky