Clowning around....

Published: April 8th 2013
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The main square, Sunday market


We are tall here.

So it was that wandering down busy 6th Avenida in Guate we couldn't just be silent observers of a performance from a clown (side note - Guatemala City loves clowns). We watched and giggled for a while as a tall American tourist was subjected to the customary humilation and at that point we tried to wander off.

Not so fast. There's nothing quite like the moment when a crowd suddenly parts and you find yourselves compelled into the centre, with 200 pair of eyes staring at both of you and laughing. The Guatemalan clown begins his routine:

"Where are you from?", he says in Spanish

"Escocia", we reply



"Where?! I've never heard of that", he says to the crowd

"Inglaterra", we reply knowing that our latest bid to be from an obscure small country on the other side of the world has failed again.

"Do you speak Spanish?", he says, "It's ok because I speak Ingles", and he says in English "Gwatt ees your na-mey?" to howls of laughter from the crowd.

After us explaining our names, he settles down to

The Guatemala City 10k road race, naturally...

We play along.

When he asks me if I like Guatemalan women, I look comedy-sheepish, look obviously over to Rhona, and then turn to the clown and shake my head vigorously. The whole crowd laughs.

When he asks Rhona if she likes Guatemalan men. She replies loudly and clearly. "Yes I do". The crowd laugh even more.

And for his final piece, he takes a run-up and jumps on me, landing perfectly with both legs wrapped around my waist.

Have you ever been kissed by Guatemalan Clown? I'm not sure I'd recommend it!!

Welcome to day 2 in Guatemala.


The City

Ten Cuidado, "Take care", people say to us, and we do, but the city feels safer than we'd imagined.

True, downtown Guatemala City is a little grubby, a bit edgy in places, and we take taxis at night, but overall it's a fun, likeable place.

The rich people fled out of the city centre long ago to the fancy suburbs of Zones 9 and 10. We went there too on our second day, to buy emergency clothes and to ease ourselves into developing world life. Well, we'd heard Guatemala was a very unequal country, but we didn't expect the prices in the mall to be expensive for Glasgow. £4 for one pair of pants, anyone?!



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