Thu 15 Nov 2007 1:35 AM
One of these again. So, IÂ´m in Guatemala, just arrived today. These last two weeks have been a lot about not knowing what IÂ´m doing. I
took a bus to Oaxaca City alone and the first night there I met two Mexico City University
students who were working on their thesis project: Rafael and I donÂ´t remember the other one’s name, but he had a French accent when he spoke English and never looked at you when he spoke. The university was footing the bill for their expenses and so they took me out to eat for the first two days.
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They also taught me how to swear, the truth about Mexican men, and got me drunk. I got the flu after that and then drank half a bottle of cough syrup and took a 13 hour bus ride to San Cristobal de las Casas to meet up with Amber. It was terribly cold there and it spit rain all day. However, we visited a Mayan village just outside of the city that was preparing for Day of the Dead. The village is extremely traditional and although they allow outsiders they are fairly hostile towards tourist snap-shots. I saw a Mayan girl spit at a woman taking a picture of the cemetery. Their traditional dress includes this fabric that cannot be described other than looking like a gorilla costume. The women wear skirts made of this material and the men wear giant sweaters made of it. It looks incredible. The church was amazing. The floors were covered in pine needles and rows of candles, the church walls were lined with glass cases containing porcelain-faced saints; totally spooky, they were draped in fabric and had multiple mirrors hanging around their necks. There was a ceremony taking place in which the individual cases where being opened and then flooded with incense smoke. There was also an awful lot of ceremonial folding of cloths. My descriptions here are truly unacceptable, even to me. IÂ´m sorry, it was amazing. At the cemetery all of the graves, which by appearances where very shallow, were covered in marigolds.
This, however, was the extent of our Day of the Dead festivities. As it turns out San Cristobal is not so much into the pomp and ceremony. Amber and I found this out a little too late as we emerged in skull-face to find that we were the only, I do mean this, the only people in the city to have painted
their faces. We were well received tho, and as a result we made friends with a group of local hippies, one of which whose resemblance to Jack Sparrow seemed a little more than coincidence. Today we traveled about 12 hours and are now in Antigua. Our plan was to head to Monterrico tomorrow, a beach with black sands, but itÂ´s our running joke to be ill-informed about our surroundings. We arrived the day before election day. We have been advised that its best to not go out at all tomorrow, because as our hostel owner said, there is too much Â¨laundry moneyÂ¨ involved in this election, IÂ´m guessing this means dirty money. We are in dirty money country now.
Okay, this is a P.S, the elections went off without a hitch. Although I guess Colom, the new president, promises to plunge the country into further disarray. I hear he owes too many favors. I am writing you from a beach in the far south of Guatemala, so far south that if I spat IÂ´d hit a Salvadorian. The sands are black, it is true, and the surf is terrifying. At night it’s pitch black and the sand and waves are full of phosphorescent magik. If you kick the sand a spray of glowing blue dust comes out. There is also a folk band from Antigua here that serenades us while we swing in hammocks. We also met a bad bad father and son duo that never wear shirts or shoes, claimed to have moved here so they could drink and drive, run a hotel with a pool full of fiber optics, and tried to get us to do some special k with them. This place is slow and hot and no one does anything. I donÂ´t know when IÂ´m coming home.