Monday, May 16

a few observations.

Often when I speak to people from home they want to know where I have been and what I have been up to. I mostly just stick the basics, where I am and the major things I have seen or done. The truth is, most of my trip is made up of simple things. For example, getting to know new people and walking around and indulding in new cultures, whether it be of the place I am in or of the person I am getting to know. In doing this I have definitely experienced some things that make me realize I am pretty far from home, some good and some bad. I thought I would share a few here to give you a taste of some of the things I have experienced and learned about while abroad.

a) Pan Ladies.
The Spanish word for bread is Pan and here in Guatemalan, and other countries I have visited, baking various types of bread and then taking to the streets to sell them is a common way to make money for many women, and sometimes their children. In San Pedro especially, I personally cannot go ANYWHERE without having someone follow me shouting ´Pan de Banano, Pan de Chocolate, etc etc. At first its cute and you might even buy some but eventually, NO, I dont want any Banana Bread and I dont want your chocolate and I dont want your cashews either. Thats right, along with breads there are also a lot of people selling cashews and other types of nuts. Sometimes if you are lucky you run into someone selling chocoalte cake or other delicious delights.. and usually for pretty cheap but there is only so much Banana Bread one can eat.

b) Popcorn
And to totally back track on what I just said, i HUNT down the popcorn kids. Some of the ladies sell it as well but mostly you will see little boys running around at night selling little cheap bags of popcorn. The real kicker with this popcorn is that they put sugar in it, and it is absolutely delicious let me tell you. The one negative thing I find is that most of these little boys are hanging out in the bars because thats where most of the tourists are and I dont really like that but I know they have been doing it for a long time.

c) Tz´utujil
There are plenty a mayan language, especially in the areas I travel in, but never have I heard a language as crazy sounding as this one. The mayan language in San Pedro is Tz´utujil and it is spoken widely along with Spanish. I am lucky to have a friend who speaks it fluently with all of his friends and family, so I get my fair share of it. It is the craziest sounding language, I have never heard anything like it. Just when I think I have a grasp on spanish, they start speaking some new crazy language so I cant understand. Thanks guys.
Here is a link I found with a little boy speaking Tz´utujil, here starts in at about 35 seconds but doesnt say very much. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSh4OBg_x80

d)Israel
I had never met anyone from Israel or known too much about the country or the culture until I traveled in Guatemala, specifically the lake. It turns out that in the town I am in there is an Israeli hostel, and although anyone can stay there, it´s mostly populated with young israelies, they even have their own Rabi. When I got here I learned that all of them, even the ladies, have to serve two years in the military straight out of high school. That was insane to me. I learned lots of other military facts that sort of scared me but basically the jist was that once they are done, a lot of them come travel, and apparently a good percentage to San Pedro. Of all the people I have met, I have to say Israelis are the most clicky and closed off. If you dont speak Hebrew you probably arent going to do well at Zoola. The other interesting thing I have found is that if they are traveling alone, they are so nice and easy to talk to. I guess it´s just easy to flock together when you all speak the same language, and many of them arent prime english speakers. One other thing I realized is that as a whole, they are probably one of the most beautiful groups of people I have come across in this dark, cold and hard sort of way.. their features are beautiful.

e)Massacres
Just last night there was a massacre of 27 people in Northern Guatemala. I know that there are murders and rapes and scary things everywhere, everyday, even in Canada but the violence seems so much more intense here. 27 innocent people were woken from their sleep, bound, and one by one decapitated with a chainsaw on a farm in Peten. Excuse my friend but that shit is scary. I had a close call in Honduras, missing a robbery at gunpoint by a streak of luck and that was enough to scare the piss out of me... getting my head chainsawed off, thats enough to make me book a flight home. Luckily I am far from there, not involved in any gangs or drug cartels so I feel relatively safe from things like that but it does happen, and its very scary.

f)Heat
In Honduras and Costa Rica especially, I have experienced head and humidity like never before. The kind of heat where if you lay in the sun 3 minutes, you are literally soak in your own sweat which is really disgusting. The worst part is that unless you are lucky enough to find a restaurant with air conditioning, it can be complicated to escape. To be back in Guatemala, I am thankful!

g)Cat Calls
Yeh.. not so much something I have ever experienced but the guys here be AGGRESSIVE. I get whistles, crazy stares and some downright INSANE comments tossed my way. Its not that im special, its that the dudes are loco and have no filters. Sometimes its in spanish, and sometimes I cant even understand it but you know when someone is speaking to you in that manner, thats for sure. The brave ones have learned enough english to try to lure you in with their worldly prowess but if any guy who actually spoke english said some of the things they say to me, I probably wouldnt be walking away without a few choice fingers in the air. Sometimes its nice to get a whistle when you have dressed up and you feel good about yourself but 98% of the time its semi offensive and unnessecary. Thankfully I have perfected the art of ignoring.

h)Yelling for clarity
I run into a lot of people who think that the locals will understand them if they simply YELL WHAT THEY ARE TRYING TO SAY IN THEIR FACES, but still in English. Note to everyone, if someone doesnt understand English, yelling english words louder than normal and publically appropriate will not help the situation 99% of the time. Hand gestures and a bit of spanish (or whatever the local language is) vocab (because you are in fact in a different country), will actually go quite a ways.

Okay. It is pissing rain and the power has already flickered so I am going to post this now but if I think of some more things, I will be sure to post! If you dont already know, Im trying (and getting REALLY close!) to get to 30 followers on my blog by my 20th birthday which happens to be May.28th. So if you are reading this and you arent a follower, become one! Its super easy, you just have to press follow and sign up quickly, it might take 2 minutes but you probably wouldnt have done anythign besides facebook with those 2 minutes anyways. So follow me!! Por favor =)

4 comments:

  1. Love it...I am laughing out loud. Love you bunches. XOXO

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  2. lol at the israeli/ zoola comment. I had the exact same experience- but managed to become part of one of the clique's so I guess that was handy- not that I picked up any hebrew! haha, Sounds like you are having an awesome time my love- continue enjoying the freedom that travelling has to offer- knowing that home and reality cannot offer you the same spontaneous experiences, friendships and adventures that central america does. xx

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  3. Oh, interesting. Reminded me of travelling to Italy many years ago- everything from the aggressive street salespeople to the cat calls. It will be a trip to remember; that's for sure :)

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  4. I loved the layout of this post, and thought it was hilarious! It is interesting to learn all these insane things about other countries, but also gives you a new respect for home. Congrats on getting 30 followers before your birthday!

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