Archive for the ‘Living in Antigua’ Category

Not Postal

if you’ve noticed, El Correo the postal service has closed their portals…the Canadians are trying to weasel out of their contract, the govt. doesn’t have any money but ‘they’ say they’re operate the postal service via the Ministry of Communications…so, will the 600+ employees get their jobs back?…hah. It is, in my opinion, just a sign of the times. Folks don’t write or read (did email play a part?)as they used to and none of  it is cost-effective..for those who still need a local outlet/inlet, Caniz on lower 4th has improved.

starting Monday, for 3 weeks, the City will be closing various streets for two hours a day, while they catalog exteriors of buildings in town…color, design, additions…creating a database to keep things as they are, at least on the outside.

Michael Rayment is better, health-wise…Mike C, the X-man, leaves soon for a European jaunt, Tanya H is in Vancouver, having a big garage sale before she moves here, Marcel (Michos) throwing a cocktail/wine bash thursday @ 6p, Marvel the Magnificent scheduling another event, June 1, @ Vino y Baco 7pm (inside the Casa Fuentes on outer 4th calle.

And the new stuff in the Park is coming together nicely…the gringo benches seem to settled down a bit but there’s still some ruffled feathers…don’t ask, don’t smell, is my position..I’ve opted out, physically and mentally….’better things to do with my life, like an interview this weekend, the beach next week, El Salvador in 2 weeks, get the June edition of Our Man in Antigua-stan ready to publish soon and appreciate the recent rains and I’m getting used to the Kindle…a bit of withdrawal with no physical book in my hand but after a splash or two of rum, so? so what? have a great weekend, check your umbrella…I need a new one…

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so, we know that we’ve been told to drink at least 8 glasses of water every day….health, you know. I think that I’ve personally solved this gigantic task….8 margaritas (frozen/blended)takes care of the health nuts and I feel a helluva lot better.

‘Running Dogs’….yep, kids, dogs, babies in strollers,  the young, the aged and the infirm, all out on the the streets of town today, puffing and panting…not me(bag of ice going home)see above..

Nelson Lunding, our wandering occasional troubador? has he left again? damn, what a hard  life musicians have…

was it a 4 sparkler wedding?…the rent-a-church, San Jose El Viejo, on lower/south 5th avenida, the scene of a wedding every Saturday night?…since I live nearby I can tell by the amount o fireworks afterward and discern just how much money was spent…Ka-Boom!…Dad just blew another $1000….well, last night? not much…no fancy new SUV with in ribbon in front of the Porta Hotel, no only a few mortar bombs…if you’ve ever been to a Hindu wedding, you know that they go on for 2 days or so…at the end, on the wedding night, the groom gets to scratch off the red spot (tikka) on the bride’s forehead…and see what he’s won…like a liquor store, motel or a 7-11.

have a great week…I’m outa here for a cheeseburger/swim at the Delfin sometime, a dinner with a favorite lady and a little ditty on the shoe shine kids in the park…whew…what a hard life they have..and thanks, Mike D, for the apology(accepted) this little burg is so steeped in chisme/gossip/bullshit/horseshit that it’s hard to tell the monkeys from the circus…and here’s the latest ‘only in Antigua’…


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Yo-yo Geronimo and Debbie are in town, on vacation for a change and not working, as usual, for what  was once a favorite NGO, AS Green as it gets…Franklin is gone and my chance to go rock-hounding with him….and he knew places…alas.

‘glad to see that the fence crew in the newly upgraded park have figured out how to make curves in the new stuff…yeah, plants keep getting added…work in this town takes a while, such as what was Dos Mil on 6th avenida, then Reilly’s 2 and now? slowly, slowly another hotel…will the hotels ever outnumber spanish schools/travel agencies?…sort of like the progress of Mamma’s #2, on 5th ave sur…did they start in February?

and yes, this Sunday marks the first attempt by the City to restrict the cars from the City to park here….the ‘plan’ is to have incoming cars park outside town, in the dusty parking lot and shuttle in..do they pay twice, once for the parking and once for the shuttle? it’ll be amusing, either way….if the guys who flag down cars for parking in town and then offer to wash the cars with the usual bucket of dirty water figure it out, they could make some $$.  and yes, the new Mayor wants to get them out of business also.  Has anyone ever thought of issuing licenses ($)?

and, what was a bit of a bust (not hers)was the first meeting of a new single’s club…mike tallon walked by and he’s looking great! healthy, again…I know the feeling.. and so, on this day in history, the french came down hard on the knights templar..DeMolay and all that…happy friday the 13th!  today, I’m off to the library: the Kindle library, that is and next month, El Salvador..have a great weekend, if possible…its gonna start raining  some day, I’ve heard…what, me worry? Sergio, in the park, has some old copies of Mad Magazine for sale…memories, etc…I’ve had a fire prepped for weeks, waiting for some rain, some xlnt Mulan take-out in the refer and let’s see, what goes well with stir-fry? rum?

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in this case, not the Italian word for suppository…it refers to the current flurry of rumors, gossip and as we say here in Antigua…’chisme.’….specifically the recent outing of some weird people in the park, either on Facebook and/or the Guatemala Chronicle (google it)…pictures and names. Any long time ex-pat gringo will tell you not to mingle/be seen or hang out with the local village girls, for fear of association with other previous gringos who have come/gone, for nefarious reasons(minors/sex stuff) but the people within the above mentioned article were warned, verbally and otherwise…one would’ve thought that being taken by local police and ‘questioned’ a few weeks ago would’ve been sufficient notice…obviously not..too dumb or too careless? who cares? not me, btw…’they’  apparently don’t get it that  we (gringos) are a highly visible part of this community and that any/all actions are noted…whew…dumb moves, guys…sorry about the fall out but there will be more.

and so, the new water lines, installed last year or so? on 5th calle, in front of Bodogona is an ongoing leak/project…if you’ve ever had a  ring and valve job on an older engine, you know that the new/increased compression puts a strain on the rest of the motor…will this happen here?…the city continues to fence in the central park with more ‘decorative steel grill work.’….trimmed with gravel, no less:  keep those pesky villagers/dogs off the lawn, eh?

and, speaking of the City…this Sunday marks the start of a new project: keep the  incoming visitors with cars from parking on the newly cleaned streets…the muni parking lot, outside Antigua hold about 500 cars…they will get to park there and shuttle into town….hmmm, 500 shiny new SUV’s? what a prize/jackpot for any wandering semi-smart car thieves…one would hope that ‘security’ is on-duty and not part of any ring of thieves….in Guatemala? no…yes, of course…my, what a fine looking SUV that is…or was. so, keep out the  visitors from the City? next, a fee at the bus station to access the park?

Air Quality today? none, unless you like seeing the air you’re inhaling..ah, this town…never boring, never quiet…a bubbling bowl of granola, complete with  fruits, flakes and nuts.



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I’ve just watched Aury (La Taverna)’s video of what happened on 5th Ave, Sur last night…for the 2nd time…the few PNC that were there seemed to have detained one of the chief buttheads but that was about it…some say it was a result of a ‘Ladies Drink Free’ night at one of the 3 bars that occupy that section of 5th…I didn’t see any ladies but there were some drunken bimbos in evidence…is this a typical or weekly event? I know that sometimes when there’s a particular event or music playing, some crowds form outside per lack of space/desire to have a cigarette but I’ve never, aside from a New Year’s Eve thing, seen anything like this. Henrik/Aury driving through, stopped, eventually got thru…where the hell was the Mayor, with her ‘new plan’ to take back the streets and clean up Antigua…?was the Chief of Police notified or was he there? The city has two water wagons/trucks…this would’ve been a good time to ‘clean off the sidewalks’ if you know what I mean. I’m all for people coming here to have a good time but this was out of hand, out of control and just plain stupid.  Mayor Asencio, do what you said you were going to do and put an end to this.
Ignore the cig butts on the streets but consider the broken beer bottles and the louts who throw them and piss on the corners (and you and the cops, by omission).  This calls for some training and some kind of Plan B, babe…I know that the weekends are sometimes fueled by kids from from the City but this was different
. The next time it won’t be so easy to exert what little control they did…can you say ‘flash mob?’

sorry to say that I missed Grace (and Joe Ladas’ last duet together here….heard that even MHT got up on the bar at the Londoner and danced…shades of the past..glad to see that he’s getting his mojo back..I understand, only too well, how long it takes…’member me with the hospital pants and cane?

and a rare sighting of HBT and daughter Hillary in town today..maybe the threats from last year or so have faded but who would you call, to find out? are the rains here yet?

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so, that spiffy newly donated/imported fire engine with the ladder? ‘parked at the Shell station on the edge of town…too big, etc but it gets worse: Antigua doesn’t have any tall buildings, there’s not enough water pressure to use the engine’s pumps and the support legs, if extended would sink through the cobblestone streets….oh, also? it’s too large to turn any corners….minor stuff, I know.  But if the City used it as a ‘float’ for the many parades (beauty queens/Santa and stuck to a straight street like 4th calle….oops! what abut the overhead wires? just another ‘only in Antigua’ story, I guess.

that ‘arabic-themed’ place on 4th avenida, Habibbi’s? gonzo..Shaun’s El Barrio is the 800 lb gorilla on that block (Ocelot, Lava, Bulls Eye and the others).

and another ‘only’ sighting…that spinoff spa, on 6th avenida sur from what was TOSA, offering aroma therapy, massage and then laser liposuction? now offering even more! Clair Voyant is there, with astral travel (another travel agency?) chakra cleaning and so on…hey, whatever works, right? one of Ponzi bob’s ex-minions is involved, ok? and what’s the difference between minions, underlings and henchmen? dunno..I guess/think that May first is a holiday here but I can’t remember….CRS, you know…’can’t remember sh…t’

and yes, it was great to visit with HBT…he’s looking good, the family is back together, there’s a few more pigs and the old Land Rover  is even more aged…and I got some more background on the infamous Guatemalan Choo Choo story, a Jim Hearne/HBT production in the early 2000’s….another ‘only’ great story…lawyers with guns, breakdowns, racing trucks to the crossings and more…I’ll probably write it this week end..yes, there’s photos, ok?, if I can ever shake this damned little ‘summer cold.’…o well….another shot of Vick 44 and a splash of rum (lunch/dinner). Have a great weekend and let me know what the holiday is/was.

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Fantasy Island

after getting out of town for a few days and seeing the real Guatemala, warts and all, I’m always glad to get back to this ‘adult-themed park’….reality, as they say, is for those who can’t drugs.

und zo, the amazing story of the short-lived ‘Guatemala Chho Choo’ is unravelling, thanks to a few of the people who were part of it, Mac, Bill and HBT…I’ll finish up by the end of the week and yes, another ‘only in Antigua’ story. HBT? doing very well, out there in the ‘village’ where he’s got things well under control. A clue…for dinner, with    the usual great salad, there were six different choices for salad dressings…a few more pigs running around, a very bossy rooster and no gunshots in the night, not even mine. Restraint is a wonderful thing.

they come and they go…Crocodile Mike is back from Australia, Tall Bill leaves for a month and May will see the yearly departure of many, if not all, the 90 day visa people.. and…maybe, if rumor is correct, the possible return of one who was dragged off in handcuffs a few years ago, not to Antigua but in the vicinity. Clue #1…he resembles Ted Cruz in someways.

one good thing, that I enjoy about traveling with ‘what’s his face’ is that he’s a font of  funny stuff…like the story that the Antigua City council actually owns a lot of commercial properties, which they rent out to friends for a very nominal sum…who then, in turn, rent them out at ‘market rates’ and spit the difference…split…a win-win for all except the new tenant…shocking! corruption and politics, hand in hand?  and, alas, the last gig of Grace and Joe Lada this weekend…she’s gotten even more beautiful, if that were possible….Joe? nah..

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