February 15th 1982

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 1


Jetpack

Typical Guatemalan cloth, on display in the street

Despite the presence of corn flakes on our table, we decided this morning to breakfast at the same restaurant we’d visited last night.  First tho’ I visited the bank – but as it wasn’t open for another hour that was a somewhat wasted enterprise.  Not entirely tho’, since on the way I met Chris once again.  Ho hum.  Was able to borrow Q5 from the Englishman, + then Val + I feasted on orange juice, porridge, banana, eggs, rice, beans, bread + coffee.  Met Nick there, doing similar, + afterwards accompanied him to the bank, to change some money ourselves + sort out a problem for him.  That done, it was time for our shopping spree to commence – we wanted to purchase a fair bit of local gear + send it home today, so that we could leave tomorrow.  I can’t really remember our exact itinerary, but after a considerable amount of walking around, from one end of the village to the other, + after looking in just about every tipico shop in the place, we were able to acquire more or less everything we wanted.  A piece of material came from one place, 4 shirts from another, a dozen purses + 5 small bags from yet another, + finally a large bag from one other place.  Naturally, all the purchases involved a fair deal of haggling, which I did, for the most part.  Normally, I dislike the whole process, finding it false + tedious, but it wasn’t too bad today – though I still wouldn’t say I was very good at it.  I just don’t think it’s worth all the time + effort.  We got all our purchases together in a large box, together with Val’s weaving, + various other things we could do without, + lugged it all up to the Post Office, only to lug it all back again when they wouldn’t accept it till the next morning.  Ah well, change of plan.

We ate in a different restaurant tonight, where somehow or other we managed to get more, or pay less, than we should.  A good tasty meal, with some splendid strawberry pie to finish… tho’ not as good as the meal the night before.  Then on to the cinema – they were showing “Chariots of Fire”, a film I’ve been wanting to see for some time.  And it was very good – but unfortunately we must have had a dud print, for the sound quality was pretty dreadful.

So, preparations to leave; after spending quite a while in Guatemala, we were ready for moving on.  We still have the small piece of material, and use it as a makeshift tablecloth when playing cards.  Other than that, definitely a feeling of bringing things to an end, and heading back into the difficult and confusing world of arranging transport, finding accommodation…

  1. Pamela J Blair

    I love bargaining with street and bazaar vendors! It’s a game, and both of us know it. They start out with, “Because you are American,” or “so pretty,” or some such gambit, “special price for you.” (The special price is something far greater than the object is worth.) I say, “No, I saw the same thing across the way for half that price.” I begin to walk away. They lower the price a little. I shake my head. Lower the price again. I begin to walk away. “Last price (whatever)!” I buy the object, knowing I probably still paid twice what a local would have, but I’ve had fun playing the game, and I think the vendor has, too.

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