Thanks to my fabulous CouchSurfing host, Percy, I had a great two days in Guatemala City. Everything you might ever read or hear about the place instructs you to high-tail it out to Antigua as soon as possible, which is pretty much what everyone does. But since when am I like everyone else?? It´s all about having friends in the right places.
Percy met Bronwen and me at the Ticabus station, and took us to the nearby mall for some lunch. Yes, you read that right, friends and neighbors, I ate at the mall foodcourt! Who´da thunk it?
Afterwards we went downtown to run some errands (sheeeeeeesh, a trip to the post office is expensive in this country!) and check out the Parque Central. Which was a nice little square surrounded by a huge cathedral and defunct government buildings, with a big fountain in the middle. And lots of goats! Not to mention a very strange display of rubbery... ehm... "marital aids" sitting on a blanket on the sidewalk. You´ll just have to wait till I get the pics uploaded to fully appreciate that one.
We headed across the street to El Portal, a bar supposedly frequented by Che Guevara -- after Motorcycle Diaries and "before all that revolution stuff in Cuba," according to Percy. Coooooooool! It was exactly the sort of dark & smoky hangout you´d expect to find a revolutionary and his Guatemalan mistress, plotting to change the world. After dropping Bronwen off at the airport, we went to another leftist hangout called Las Cien Puertas, which had really cool graffiti on the walls.
This morning Percy brought me along to his yoga class. I don´t know if it was the result of sitting on a bus for two straight days, or because my yoga-Spanish isn´t that great, or what... but that class kicked my butt. It felt great, though! As the ever-wise Janet Wilson said: "Sometimes it´s good to stretch and be stretched." Namaste!
Afterwards I spent a bit of email catch-up time at Percy´s mom´s house, and his housekeeper made us a fab traditional breakfast of eggs, refried beans, and toast. I also got to meet Percy´s mom. She´s very cool, and quite the world traveler. And then we went to see Harry Potter! In Spanish, no less. This was definitely not the way I expected to start my Guatemalan odyssey, but it totally rocked. Thanks, Percy!!
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