January 31st 1982

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 1
The colonnade around the main square (and location of La Galeria)

We’d arranged this morning to meet Pedro at a local hotel, where he plays table-tennis every Sunday.  However, first priority was breakfast, which was yet another magnificent yogurt, this time with bananas substituted for strawberries.  Pedro was together with about half-a-dozen friends, playing a sort of round robin tournament, the winner staying on.  Unfortunately, I played fairly appallingly, + only managed to win a game right at the end, against someone who wasn’t very special.  I was annoyed with myself, because I know I could have shown myself up better.  Lots of excuses, of course – it was out in the open air, the ball was light etc etc but really I just played badly.  Val sat + read – she seemed fairly happy to do that – + we packed up at about 12.30.

Val + I sat in the square for a few hours, reading (the book on World War 3 is incredibly interesting, the first half an explanation of the current situation, the second a very plausible projection), + macramed a couple of bracelets.  Or at least began, since at first it takes a little while.  You certainly get hooked tho’.  There was a religious procession in the afternoon, but rather too solemn + morbid for our tastes, so we abandoned it in favour of the more secular pleasure of a Peter Sellers film, “The Party.”  The film was very enjoyable, tho’ the quality of projection in Guatemalan cinemas is dreadful.  Loss of sound, the film getting darker + darker, jumps in continuity every time they change reel, complete breakdowns – the lot. 

Procession through Antigua

In the evening we decided to live it up a little, especially as we didn’t fancy the set meal.  So I persuaded Val to put on her dress,+ we set off in search of a good but respectably cheap restaurant.  A great deal of searching, + finally with some degree of uncertainty we tried a Japanese restaurant.  And it was perfect.  The lighting was low, the music good, Val looked beautiful, + the food was magic…  And it was cheap.  We both agreed it had been the most perfect meal of the holiday.  Afterwards we rounded off the evening with a chocolate cake in a local pasteleria, + a beer at the Galeria.

Me and games. huh?  I like to think I am not competitive, but still get annoyed when I don’t do as well as I thought I should.  The same applies to golf nowadays…

Another film to add to our list.  Or to one of our lists.  We had several at the time: movies, books, memorable meals.  Talking of which, all memory of the meal described here has escaped us.  I am usually suspicious of Japanese food, but clearly we enjoyed this one immensely.  The major improvement in our lives over the past couple of weeks was the diet, plus the fact that we did not have to be quite so careful about checking the price.  After we returned, it took us a long time to shift the habit of asking the price of anything before we bought it.

  1. Pamela Blair

    I love your photo! And I remember playing and losing every game of backgammon in Mitilini. I’m more a solo gamer–sudoku, crossword puzzles, word challenges, etc. Not much competitive spirit.

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