It was nice to wake up early. After 15 hours sleep, though, hardly a surprise. Downstairs to the dining room for a coffee an the landlady got to talking bad about other Central Americans. I just sat there and smiled as she banged on about Guatemalans being dirty and treating their women bad, and she advised any woman with a husband not to employ a Salvadorian woman because, well, y’know… Breakfast was some potato-y green vegetable that I didn’t recognise, some spicy sausage and toast, all to the background sound of some religious TV stuff going on in the next room. Some bloke banging on about tabernacles and keeping tracts in his shirt pocket to give to people.
Got a ride back out to the airport with the landlady’s husband. We chatted about Mexico. He asked if I were a Chivas or Pumas fan. Neither, Cruz Azul. Got dropped off and waited a cigarette’s length for Kraig and Barbara, my friends from Oregon, to arrive.
That happened, we sorted out the rental car, and headed west towards the Guatemalan border. Stopped to eat at a nice enough place called, imaginatively, Cheers. Carried onwards, passing an ambulance coming the other way, then ten minutes later, a trashed motorbike lying on the road. Passed a field which caused me to urgently shout that we should stop the car. I jumped out to take photos of a poorly maintained softball field.
We drove through San Ignacio which, on first drive-through impression seemed nice, and on up a steep hill to a hotel near some Mayan ruins called Cahal Pech, which means “potato salad” in Mayan*.
The hotel is one of those that has had all the money spent on the ground floor. A fountain near the entrance, thatched roofs over things, two pools near a bar. The room barely has a lock. Kraig demonstrated something I’ve often thought was just a Hollywood thing: you can actually open a door with a credit card. Call me picky, but somewhere to put the soap in the shower is kind of essential. It’s a bit annoying to hold it the whole time. And kids are starving in Africa, ya bastard. Still, one of the two pools wasn’t being used, so while the others had a nap after their long journey from Portland, I took my book and cigarettes down to the bar, got a beer, and jumped in the pool. Obviously, I put all of my stuff next to the pool before jumping in. And it was enjoyable to cool off, read some Paul Auster, smoke and drink in the sunshine.
In the evening, we went into town and ate at a Sri Lankan place called Serendib. Not bad. A saunter around town, back to the hotel, sat around for a while chuckling at “Extreme Movie” on the telly. It was okay, although every single punchline wears a high visibility vest, so obvious were the gags, and in his brief appearance Michael Cera displays an amazing break from his usual role as Character Exactly The Same As George Michael Bluth to play Character Exactly The Same As George Michael Bluth In A Balaclava.
Bed. Decent sleep until I woke up itching an insect bite on my ankle at 6.15.
As I type this over a fairly average breakfast, there’s a bunch of other people eating their breakfasts. The chatter of humans is so inane. I’m not discounting myself from this, but when it’s all around you, it becomes very noticable what a miserable excuse for species we can be at times. Welcome to the Diary of a Misanthrope in The Former Colonies.
* Not true.