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Archive for the ‘Travel, central america, guatemala’ Category

first of all, this is an unfounded rumor. The little Mercadito, next to the Expreso Condesa, where the back was full of the same-o same-o handicrafts: word is it’s gonna be either or KFC or an Applebee’s…with the recent invasion of a Wendy’s, a couple of doors away, WTF? is there some kind of design/license review in this town or does the mayor (outgoing) have any kind of say about this? if this is even half-way true, given the recent invasion of Dunkin’ Donuts and a Little Caesars down 4th Calle, this is fairly outrageous for the preservation of what remains of Antiguas’ cultural integrity…in Carmel, for example, where I once lived for ten years, you can’t even eat ice cream on the streets. I’m not suggesting that kind of Nazi thinking here but…

and yes, we’ve got the PNC, those lovable copies of SS storm troopers, standing on the corners in the mornings…as if they’re really ‘combating crime’ in this haven of tranquility,this tourist mecca..and why the Army troops ride with them is another mystery. ..the crime here occurs after dark, folks..and is focused on tourists/gringos..that’s where the money is, but why not do their patrols after dark and in the fringe areas of town? oops..Mr Logic just reared his ugly head again.

Speaking of logic, Caniz, that long-time private mail service that we pay extra for, for the extra service? they’ve decided to add a little to the pile: now there’s only outgoing mail on Tuesdays but on Thursdays they’re bringing in mail from the City…hmm,you ask? yeah, me too..why not go back to the outgoing mail service on that day also? the truck is here…throw in some mail, what the hell? why not? don’t ask, don’t tell/smell…

Biden’s in-country, bringing promises  of joy, strength and money, no doubt..will Guatemala ever see any of the $$? only if Portillo comes out of Zacapa and rearranges the constitution (done often here)…I like the guy: great hair, good clothes and a past that works well with the electorate here..so what if he wasted two Mexicans? that’s gotta count for something..so what if he stole a few million bucks here and there? he’s obviously a ‘go-to’ kinda guy..

OK, I’m whining…allowing a Wendy’s on the Plaza was a rape of the cultural integrity of Antigua: I’m not against ‘fast foods’ as long as they’re down the block and out of sight…if and a big IF, a KFC or an Applebees goes in next door, its the beginning of the end of Antigua as something special, a cultural treasure or a UNESCO World Heritage place where we live…it’s bad enough with all the ice cream stores, bars, restaurants..not to mention travel agencies…I’m not…they gotta make a living..I don’t but I can see their place in the scheme of things.

Blender-Rama? daiquiries…just enough to make this possible nightmare fade for a while.+

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no, not a gay joke…just a reminder that Antigua is where the money is and for the youths from the surrounding villages, this is where to come to knock over, rob, steal and get away with it. Rumors of a well known hotel being the scene of taking unattended cash (idiots who left it that way)and a couple of ‘stand and deliver’ kinds of hold-ups..will the culprits get caught? hah! as with Guatemala’s abysmal closure rate on murders (5%)these guys will get away clean. If you knew enough to go file a denuncia on 7th ave norte, next to the AL library and then if you knew enough to go find the Ministerial Publico in the south part of town and then…well, don’t hold your breath..the PNC are a joke in black…well tailored black,yes..

so..the great Antigua replace-the old water pipes with new PVC project? another huge joke, unless you have a house or business on 5th calle, from the park to Santa Lucia..a week later, there’s a steady trickle of water down the street, leaks in every block and if it was planned (sic)as a way to reduce dust, its working…but no one else is..what’s next? prayers? whoever is in charge of this project ought to be shot, horsewhipped and run out of town..

and yes, another business moves to 6th calle…Le Petit St. Malo, the french joint on outer 4th calle…someone ought to point out (not me) that Malo means bad in espanol..
and yes, today means the start of the %$#@! processions, for the next 5 weeks…getcher autographed posted of Jesus(in case you forgot what he looks like)the white gloves and the purple gown..
yeah, I’m a bit septical..no, skeptical…I knows it means a lot to many people and $$$ to the merchants (prices triple for hotels)but having seen the movie, read the book, I know how it turns out. One might think that flagellation is the theme, with pain/suffering not far behind. Lift that barge, suck that incense..

and yes, some of the temp visitors have/are leaving…Mark’s left for Thailand, Hogan is outa here in a week and Hap, who just showed up unannounced, leaves in 2 or 3 weeks..Blodgett? April 15th, I’m told..if there was a way to speed that date up, count me in..Miss C outa here on the 17th..our temp visitors add a bit of color..no, wrong word..some I enjoy, some I avoid but then, being retired, I can be a grumpy old fart/curmudgeon any time I feel like it(and frequently do) and yes, the March edition of Our Man in Antigua is live on Amazon/Kindle…go to http://www.amazon.com/author/michaelsherer and order a few hundred copies, ok?

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La Taverna mildly jammed, with some of the ‘unindicted co-conspirators’…even John aka Nazi Adams was there, just having flown in from NorCal….he’s 98% here, for good/bad or whatever…Mike d aka the ‘Perfesser’ due in next week…8th? they will both hang out at the Ponzi Bob chateau for a while (and yes, the Vortex People have left)…PB due in later in the year, wife and friends in January, just in time for another stab at promoting the virtues of gold in/around the  Motagua…

Bobby D, rockin’ the Snug! almost a capacity crowd…doesn’t take much per the size…and no, no ‘soft opening’ for the Edge Inn (Spiros/Alabama Bobs)deal with what was the Calle in the Nido Antigua…’talking about some remodeling to the bar…yikes! I liked as it was, and then opening mid next week, +/-….town packed with chapins aka Guatemaltecos…why? dunno…sidewalks jammed…

ran into two of my favorite people, GG Foto and Chocolate Bob…she’s headed for the States soon but is getting the Land Cruiser fixed (carburetor +)and wants to do road trips…he was passing out new samples of the latest chocolate creations (and his chocolate is my  personal fave).

and yes, no evening would  be perfect without passing by the Casbahs little downstairs bar…four bar people but the one I prefer…yeah…Marbel the Delicious…a visual delight and yes, we’ll be ‘doing dinner soon’….after next weeks voyage of the damned, aka ‘back to Salami’…or hide the salami, take your pick..it’s me, JR and the ‘ captain’….with a plan, maps and rum/$$…what could go wrong?

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or still: this is an ongoing event with me…suggesting that a local bar or two is slowly dying….from a usually reliable source, La Taverna is now serving Guinness on draft (55q the pint) and is the only bar in Central America to be dishing up Guinness in this fashion..

Today? Spiros and Alabama Bob officially take over La Calle in the Nido Antigua mall (to be re-named as the Exit Inn)and no word on any kind of ‘grand opening’…and since this is the official Day of the Child here, hats off to Don Marco, who supposedly had his 12th offspring recently…12 kids! in  his new capacity of a financial advisor, this works…12 kids plus parents, on welfare? do the math…12-14 thousand bucks a month? 

sorry, but I missed Lex Cargo’s local film debut yesterday in the movie, aptly titled ‘Ambiguity’….Tall Bill leaves us tomorrow, returning in November…the ‘Perfesser’ arrives next week, on the heels of Nazi John and where is Hogan?

tuk tuks…do they have a license or go to school? why do they travel in packs or two somes? and is six calle the new center of town? north 5th ave is dead, and what was the old Tacontento space is still vacant(prime location).

and yes, we’re going ‘on the road’ again…next week back to the scene of ‘The Wheel Came Off’ in Salama, with better planning and a better vehicle. Obviously I haven’t learned my lesson yet, but then I’m always the last to find out.

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once more, from the top….the new Tropicana Hostal/Bar is serious competition for any…repeat, any other hostal in town…yes, Monica has done wonders with the Jungle Party and the Black Cat imploded and La Terrazza was coming along, with their Pub Crawls…but…and a BIG but…Tropicana is the new 800 lb gorilla in town. thanks to Rory and Laurel, with some help from some friends, the place is the best…ok? the best, hands down. Of course, for an grand opening all you have to do is say ‘free beer’ and  you’ve got a party on your hands…James Mullen/Laurel behind the bar, Christophe dishing up snacks..don’t take my word for this…go by…a swimming pool? yep..right in the middle, with wood planking…great rooms, ambience..

La Calle is changing hands…Spiros and Alabama Bob take over Oct 1…and a name change: the Exit Inn…with Spiros back to doing what he does best: cooking…yep, ceviche returns(and his is the best)plus burgers and….lamb kebab…greek style…I’m in….and maybe, just maybe, they continue the Thursday night vodka special…any brand, 15q…so, I sucked down two Stoli’s…30q…

Sobremesa is doing a special take on Guatemalan ‘tipico’ food tomorrow…7pm…and adding spice/flavors to  what is…mild/unimaginative…and per the rain or lack of it, it was a quiet aka dead night for restaurants…even Piano Mike and the tasty Andy Z. Luna were looking at a empty room at Travel Menu…everyone..repeat, everyone was at the Tropicana opening…even the ever tasty Marvelous Marbel was alone at Casbah’s little pub..I would’ve stayed/kept her company but the rain was starting..

so…if you’re into whiskey and in Bodegona, check out the Crowley’s…’tipo whisky’ the label reads..but if you read the list of ingredients on the back? 98 % alcohol, 25 whiskey…is this legal? who cares?..La Taverna? slowly dying, as is Ocelot…why? 6th calle is the new center of town, with more bars per block than anywhere else…they’re not the best but they have sucked up the business..the Snug, Travel Menu and so on…north 5th is over/dead..4th calle is restaurant land, with Micho’s and Sobremesa fighting over the biz..Tartines, with ‘the best terrace in town’…a joke..and dead..Fusion getting some action, along with Mamma’s…but not much, not on these rainy September nights..it’s generally a slow month, so take a vacation and shut the doors..and Mayra of Mamma’s…the only person in town who is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America?

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