Living the slow life sure is tough, but someone has to do it...

Published: November 11th 2012
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P.S. to November 9. There are three things we forgot to include in our last post. First, Ann had a silver haired cat jump into her lap at a restaurant and just fell asleep while she petted it. Later, reading the Morocco book, there was a silver haired cat that jumped into the main character’s lap and locals said it was good luck. Second, Clay had a bird poop on him at the park, always good luck! (Unless you’re Clay!) Lastly, that evening, we both had a dream about a Judge, Ann about Sr. Soud and Clay about Jr. Soud. Dreams were not alike it any other way. Really? Nothing connects these things, but surely something must!

November 10, 2012. Clay awoke with a pinched nerve all the way to his sinuses. Perfect opportunity for a massage and foot wash! Two hours later, we were greasy and satisfied. (Pardon the expression.) The spa does not care to know your name, allergies, painful areas or date of your last massage. They just get to it, do a great job. However, the tables leave much to be desired and there are no head down thingys. And, the tables are covered in terrycloth towels that hurt after a short time. No table heaters needed here!

The next two hours were spent reviewing our new agenda provided by the hotel owner. We sat outside of our room, amazingly pleasant in front of the garden, weighing the pros and cons of bedbugs vs. a slightly higher priced rooms. We do have some spray and our silk sheets to protect us. However, we would rather not roll those dice if we don’t need to. One place in Lake Atitlan, which we hope to be our next stop, is not safe for women… skip that. (That’s another story!)

The next two hours involved a long lunch on the main drag, complete with a mime and more vendors of everything Guatemalan and not so Guatemalan. Lamb stew (in honor of Morocco) was our entrée and was completely devoured by us. Sorry, but pictures seemed too hard to manage after all of these hours of hard work. J

After lunch, we looked for a man who had been selling balloons, intending to buy them all from him and giving them to the local children. Sadly, we could not find him. We did find a kid who told us, “I am hungry” while touching his belly. He was dirty (was it fake?). Anyway, he was selling candy, so Clay, being the shrewd bargainer, asked him how much for all of his candy. Hearing those words, the whole family and several friends gathered around to try to figure out what to say; apparently the whole deal was quite exciting. The complete assembly began to furiously count the individual pieces of candy, so as to know the total amount of the bargain. It took a while as candy was counted and bagged, and it was all serious bargaining. Clay was brutal but the child stood his ground! However, Ann held out the cash and waived it around to further entice the deal! Nothing says "I am ready to bargain" like cold hard quetzals! Finally, after bargaining for the 15 minutes, the child accepted the massive some of 40 Quetzals ($5) for almost all of his goods. Ann paid the price and then we both dumped all the candy we had purchased back in the boy’s box and Clay said, “Buenos noches.” We simply walked away. As we walked away without looking back, the group was first shocked and when reality set in, they were completely ecstatic and laughing so hard, it was deafening. We are sure to be a story for some time to come. Americanos locos! What a wonderful experience and memory for us, and hopefully an experience of the goodness of people from the US for this boy.

Finally, to the hotel to work on blogs and finish the Morocco book. Finishing a book is new, different, and satisfying. Parting until tomorrow……

See photos of the day (fotografias del dia). Clay is almost 1/180 fluent en Espanol; Ann about 1/1800.

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