Today is my one-week anniversary here in Guatemala. I spent my first week traveling around — from Guatemala City to Antigua, then to Lago de Atitlán, where I split my time between Panajanchel, Santa Cruz, and San Pedro, and finally back to Antigua, where I spent three days at Earth Lodge, an avocado farm in the hills overlooking the city — and now I’m comfortably settled into my house here in Antigua (aka La Antigua Guatemala).
A lot has happened in the past week, including adventure as well as plenty of misadventure. Over time I’ll revisit some of my experiences and post some photos. Right now I’m focused on getting my laptop computer repaired. In fact, I created this WordPress blog in the time I’ve spent here at the Funky Monkey Internet lounge, where I’m anxiously awaiting an English-speaking computer repairman who hopefully can resolve the damage to my laptop.
I really need to get my laptop fixed. Not only do I need it to do my work as a writer; I’m desperate to recover all of the data on my hard drive, most importantly my software, photos, and music. I have travel insurance, so the cost shouldn’t be an issue, and thankfully it’s my backup laptop rather than my primary one, which is safe back home in the States, as are my primary hard drives. But the inconvenience of not having my own PC here is indeed an issue, given my dependence on the Internet.
Thankfully, the Internet lounges here in Antigua are bountiful and quite nice. For example, Funky Monkey has air conditioning, drinks (including beer as well as coffee), an eclectic mix of music, and high-grade hardware (20″-plus flatscreen monitors!). Plus, Funky Monkey is open until midnight, charges only a dollar an hour, and is down the hallway from Mono Loco, a fun sports bar/restaurant with big screen TVs showing American sports.
Speaking of Mono Loco…after arriving in Antigua last night and moving into my house, my friend recommended that we go there for happy hour. We befriended a Canadian along the way, and one round of two-for-one happy-hour Cuba libres led to others. We had so much fun, we stayed until closing time. One TV was showing the Boston Red Sox playoff game, the other NCAA college football. Our order of nachos as an appetizer was so large, we didn’t need dinner.
As the night progressed, the music grew louder, the bar manager let us request our favorite American rock songs, and one of my friends found herself behind the bar, dancing and singing along with the bartenders, with whom we were sharing drinks. If only there were an incriminating photo to post.
Let me tell you, it’s easy to have fun here in Antigua. It has everything the States has — everything from sushi restaurants to high-speed Internet to NCAA football (for instance, Mono Loco is broadcasting the Ohio State-Wisconsin prime-time showdown tonight) — plus lots more, about which I’ll write more later.
Once I get my laptop fixed, that is. I’ll start posting on this blog more regularly once I can do so from the comfort of my home. Lots of stories to tell and photos to share. This is just the beginning.