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Last Week in Xela, Part 2

Quetzaltenango, GuatemalaThe last day of class was rough. I was tired of studying irregular verbs so I stopped trying on Wednesday. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but when I needed to use the irregular verbs that I failed to learn at 8:00 am on Friday morning I was regretting that decision. [...]

Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

The last day of class was rough. I was tired of studying irregular verbs so I stopped trying on Wednesday. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but when I needed to use the irregular verbs that I failed to learn at 8:00 am on Friday morning I was regretting that decision. Trying to speak Spanish at 8:00 am is rough on a good day so on a bad day it’s down-right impossible. At 10:30 am I gave up trying for the day so Paola and I went and grabbed some coffee and talked for the rest of class switching between Spanglish and English.

The Halloween party came and went on Friday night. My drink of choice for the night was a boot-leg Guatemalan fruit wine called Caldo de Fruta that Jeremy (My house-mate) and I brought.  After the party we walked to some clubs. My decision to be clown had it’s downfall here since walking into a non-gringo club looking like a clown wasn’t the best decision. Luckily, Jeremy was dressed as Frankenstein so I wasn’t the only person looking like a complete idiot. I tried to work the clown-angle for a while but I was two days too early. A quick run to the bathroom to wash off the face paint had me blending in a little better. I’m still not used to the clubs here; the switch from trance to salsa to hip-hop is just too strange.

Saturday morning came too early but there was a beach in my near future so I got out of bed and shook off the hang-over. After a month in the colder temperatures of Xela the heat, sand, and waves were a welcome relief. There is nothing finer than laying on the beach and drinking a beer.

While traveling my general strategy for ordering food is to ask for the item on the menu which I’ve never heard of. Sometimes I’m delightfully surprised and other times I’m just…well…surprised. My lunch on the beach was the latter of the two. Sitting in front of me was a soupy mix of crab, fish, shrimp and oysters. None of which had been peeled or shelled so I spent 30 minutes chopping off heads, cracking shells, peeling off skin and de-veiningboning. It didn’t taste too bad once fully prepared.

More liters of beer and a great sunset at the beach finished off the day. I was enjoying the sunset when a group of soldiers on beach patrol stood in front of me. One soldier wouldn’t stop staring at me so I tried, inconspicuously, to snap a few pictures. The ride back to Xela turned into a party bus with a bottle of Quetzalteca rum and four large pizzas being passed around the back of the van.

From Quetzaltenango 2010-10
Filed under: Cubicle Ditcher, Guatemala

About the Author:

Sam Langley left a comfortable and profitable job with an insurance company in the USA to travel the world. He has been going for years, and has not stopped yet. Keep up with his travels on his blog at Cubicle Ditcher. has written 147 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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