Posts Tagged ‘health’

*flip thru it…

Ash Wednesday/Miercoles in the anti-smoking section: let’s consider the logic of the recently imposed anti-smoking ordinance. Most Guatemaltecoscan’t afford the price of a pack of cigarettes and of those that could afford same, only a small percentage smoke. As observed over the last week on the streets of Antigua, the majority of puffers are tourists and of those, specifically the younger hostel/student crowd, appear to be the major offenders. At the larger crowds, such as the processions, very few if any smokers were or have been seen. Therefore….drum roll, please…who are the intended targets of this ordinance? back-packers, students and foreign tourists? it would seem so, at least on the face of observation. Where is the logic of this? Walk by the Gato Negro hostel on 6th Ave or pop into Cafe No Se…observe the upper level of El Shaman after dark: students and a few locals who can afford the price of a cuba libre or two. This is not a large segment of the population and and hardly worthy of any kind of laws. If the powers that be want to impose health and safety regulations on the populace, observe the air pollution that covers the Panchoy Valley…pop a smokestack emission device on Volcan Fuego, demand that the cane fields be recycled in a more healthy fashion, insist that the chicken buses be retrofitted with exhaust controls and do something about the omnipresent dust that covers Antigua(and gets sucked into our lungs). If they are really serious, increase the tobacco tax, put a levy on ashtrays and matches/BIC’s, give the Tourist Police authority to confiscate the Marlboros and clean out the riff-raff once and for all…perhaps an occasional public flogging in Central Park? ah, the absurdity of it all. In the interest of scholarly research, it should be mentioned that a few in-depth expeditions into the dark underbelly of Guatemala City have been conducted, specifically a strip club or two…now, there’s some serious smoking going on(and not just on the stage)and it would appear that a health and safety issue might be present: if they’re going to bust people, then those are the places to start…clean out those dens of vice! handcuff those pole-dancers…strip search the strippers? hmm..I’d like to volunteer for that duty. Film at eleven!

The best maitre ‘d in Antigua? details to follow…’need to light up first.

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These items are usually found throughout Mexico and Central America, where the plumbing may be less than desireable and the level of comfort lower than you may be used to.

Have no fear. With a few simple precautions and some minor adjustments you will have that hot shower or the cooler version when the heat and humidity demand a second rinse-off by noon. Note the adjustable slider button on the front of the device: all the way to the left is usually a black dot, with the middle being a blank oval and to the right a half black/half blank circle. These are the temperature settings. Do not adjust these when you are in the shower with the water running. The device uses AC electrical power to power a heating coil in the shower head, kind of like the heating element that you might use to heat a cup of tea at home. Note the wiring, which is usually haphazardly taped together from the external lamp cord that they probably spliced into earlier. Do not touch this!

Turn on the water slowly, allowing the heating element to do its job and warm the water to your desired temperature and then you can enter the shower. Once in, it is safe to increase or decrease the water pressure for changes in temperature. Turning it off is also safe. The key to your shower safety lecture is to remember that you do not want to be fiddling with an electrical circuit while standing in water..yes, it’s probably only 110 volts but save your needs for electrolysis or having your permanent re-done until you’re in the hands of a professional. 

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