Saturday, August 28, 2010

"My Balls Itch!"

San Pedro and the whole Atitlan watershed is a polar combination of indigenous Mayan culture and ubiquitous Western influence. All the women and a few of the older men wear bright traditional, hand-woven garb. Many sell handi-crafts and traditional food on the streets.

Side by side with these are teenagers in blue-jeans, backward baseball caps and sneakers. In gringo havens like San Pedro, even many of the stores are owned by Europeans and a few Americans. (At our favorite ex-pat haunt, the drunk Irish owner literally paid me (5 Quetzales) to add a Colombian, anise-tinted, clear moonshine to my tonic water.)

Despite all the English we hear here, some of the slogan-laden English language T-shirts we find people wearing are truly epic.

Por ejemplo:

"My other body is a temple."
"I Don't Recycle."
"I'm from the land of misfit toys."
"Magic Isn't Real."
"I see your lips moving, but all I hear is 'blah blah blah."

And my personal favorite: scrawled across the chest of a well-to-do 55-year-old, stony faced and, I'd like to think, proud man:

"My Balls Itch!"

I thought about telling him, but quickly realized my Spanish wasn't nearly proficient enough to translate such a nuanced cultural statement.

So we let him go on his way, reasonably convinced that no one whose respect he cares about can speak English either.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Guatemalan Footpaths and Writing Repentance

Sitting at a breakfast table in San Pedro, Guatemala, I am taken aback by how little I've written lately. With the inception off out podcast (, travel, learning Spanish and general scheming, I've been a bit short on literary excellence and corporate processing.

So, to update:

July was Haiti, and just as hot, horrifying and fulfilling as you might expect. Most of our earlier podcasts revolve around our time in Puert-au-Prince

August started out by living vicariously through two Australians we met in Mexico who traveled to the country it looks like the US is pissing on.

Last weekish we took a series of night buses through Belize and onto Flores, Guatemala, where we checked out the ruins at Tikal before jumping on another "bus" to Antigua.

In Antigua, we began treatment for Typhoid (Kate and I eat far more street-meat than can be considered healthy or safe.) and rekindled our love-affair with internet-television.

30Rock consumed the next few days of high fever and rebellious digestive tracts. It was awesome.

Yesterday we took a harrowing van ride to San Pedro, a gorgeous part of Guatemala sitting on lake Atitlan, where we'll do language school for a few weeks.

If you're still reading the most boring blog entry I've written in recent memory (ok, the only blog entry I've written in recent memory), good for you. I'm sure your stamina and attention span has been rewarded in the corporate world. We appreciate your future sponsorship of our international endeavors.

Tomorrow, I promise, I'll bring you fart-jokes.