Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sunday, August 14th

I woke up today realizing that it was the first day that I’ve been here and had nothing scheduled. A whole glorious day to just relax and do whatever the day brings! How to kill a day in Antigua? Spend half of it working on a computer and the other half in the art market!
Side note: I have been wanting to post a photo of a fully loaded chicken bus, but every time I've seen one, my camera wasn't handy. So, I finally  took a photo of a chicken bus, but it's naked...

I began by walking to El Parque Central to get quatzales for breakfast and the rest of my meals here…and maybe a little for El Mercado! Then I was off to my (and Taylor’s) favorite little breakfast nook for a Nutella crepe with bananos and some much needed journaling and photo organizing.
I spent the entire afternoon strolling casually around the art market. There are so many beautiful things there: textiles (blankets, scarves, hammocks, purses and bags of every type and size, table runners, shirts, pants…), wood carvings, various wooden musical instruments, clay art, masks, brightly colored paintings of Antigua landmarks and traditional Guatemalan people, beaded jewelry, handmade toys of all types, and on and on… There is a big outer square of buildings and little hallways leading in towards the center where there is a beautiful little fountain decorated with flowers (I posted a picture of it in one of my first few blogs). All of these passages are lined with store after store, all about the size of a small walk-in closet in a modern U.S. home.

Side note: Walking down the street, I saw the first kid having a temper tantrum that I’ve seen in couple weeks, and it was outside of the McDonald’s. I realized that the only time I saw a child behaving disagreeably in Chajul or any of those outlying pueblos, was when I saw a 2 or 3 year old boy having a bit of a fit about his older sister trying to wash his hair in the cold water from the “pila” (a cement sink of sorts that stores water that they use for washing and such)…I think I’d have thrown a fit too! It made me realize how spoiled and pampered kids (nearly all American kids) are so much less happy because then they’re always wanting, wanting, wanting. Kids whose families have so little, that they don’t have any point in putting energy into wanting, so they just don’t do it and they’re satisfied and happy with what they have. A little 25 cent cantaloupe -sized ball can bring tons of joy for weeks and weeks to a whole street of kids who play with it.
I was fortunate enough to get back from the market right before the sky broke open. It was soothing to just kick back and listen to the rain pour for a while. I went next door to the Bavarian restaurant and watched the intense last 45 minutes of a soccer game where one guy got taken off the field on a stretcher, and it ended in a shootout, where Spain, having missed two already, lost to Brazil on their fourth successful shot. Then I wandered through town looking for a good place to eat and by default (and desire for good music, ambiance and food) ended up at Rainbow Café again. I’ve eaten out for dinner three times in Antigua, and all three times I went there. Hmmm…not very adventurous of me huh? Anyhow, they did have great music tonight! I also finally got back into reading I, Rigoberta Menchu during the band’s break. It’s much more engaging now that I know the people of that region and have seen the culture first-hand.

Oh yeah – in my search for dinner, I found a big nighttime indoor market that had vast array of artisan goods from all over Guatemala. It had a very different feel though and was not your typical “market”. It was as much an art display as it was things for sale.
They had clearly and carefully displayed and labeled many different guipiles (pronounced “wee-pee-lays”) and which specific region and town they were from.
There was every time of textile good and art work that I've seen throughout my trip here.

There were also little statues similar to Saint Simon (the weird little saint that we went to see in Santiago).

 All of the items appeared to be for sale, but no one was around to pester you to buy anything, and in fact I had to look around to figure out where to go if you did want to buy something. It had a very mellow and calm feel to it.  I did buy some dark chocolate covered cacao nibs, and they are a wonderful little chocolate-connoisseur’s delicacy!

Then a little farther on, in el parque central, a church was lit up beautifully...

No comments:

Post a Comment