Monday, April 22, 2013

Raid Kills Bugs Dead. Scorpions, Too.

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San Pedro

Solina came home from the City late Friday afternoon and brought with her bagels from the Bagel Factory and wine among her other purchases. The bagels arrived in a smashed- flat-from-packing kind of condition, now more resembling a Thomas’ Bagel Thin rather than the full-size round of dough they had been only hours before. Nonetheless, the bagel I had for breakfast on Saturday morning sure tasted good.

To celebrate Solina’s safe, if not stressful trip home, we cracked open one of the bottles of wine. Really, any excuse will do, and this was just as good as any. In order “to get here from there,” it’s necessary to pass through and change shuttle vans in Antigua. Thus, Antigua is not unlike the Atlanta airport in that it is a major transportation hub, except for shuttle vans and not airplanes. Unless you brave a chicken bus, or hire a private car, there is no direct means of transportation between Guatemala City and the lake.

Chances Good to Excellent in Atlanta; Not So Much in Antigua

Chances are good to excellent that you’ll make your connection in Atlanta; not so much in Antigua. It’s almost a certainty that there will be some screw-up in Antigua that may result in your not having a connection at all. This is pretty much what happened to Solina; her connection never materialized. Fortunately, she was able to make it on to another shuttle, but it meant cooling her heels in Antigua for a couple of hours. Antigua can be a fun city, but not so much when you’re stranded.

Fish Night or Curry Night?

After we drank the wine, I was hungry and left with two options: fish night at D’Noz or curry night at The Clover. My preference was for curry, but I didn’t want to walk that far, so settled for the fish, which was probably the better decision all around because while I was at the restaurant, it began to pour. This is the first rain I’ve encountered since I’ve been here and with the sound it was making on the tin roof of the restaurant, I thought I would probably be there all night.

Fortunately, the rain didn’t last for very long, but I did hurry along home in case it should start again. It either didn’t rain very much or at all in our neighborhood because I thought the clothes I left hanging on the clothesline would be soaked; they weren’t.

I wrote about fish night at D’Noz two weeks and noted that the fish was a little on the bland side, which is why I was hesitant to go again. This time, I ordered the fish and chips, which was far better than the fish trio I had the last time. And, I knew I wasn’t going to get the fish with the head and tail still attached as I did at Restaurante Eleana. This was definitely a filleted piece.

Raid Kills Bugs Dead

It’s second nature now to swat away the omnipresent flies that compete for my food at restaurants, and I can even tolerate some of the spiders that invade my room at times. However, on Friday night, when I turned on the bathroom light and saw a scorpion stare up at me, I was completely beside myself as to what to do. Maybe some of it had to do with earlier in the week I saw a really bad sci-fi movie on TV in which the army had opened a portal into another dimension that allowed huge scorpion-like creatures to escape who ended up trying to devour people who were holed up in a supermarket. Once the attacks started, Marcia Gay Harden began preaching that this was the end of the world and when it became known that it was caused by the army opening the portal, Marcia went into high gear preaching that this was God’s punishment. Is is any wonder, then, that I was freaked out by this scorpion?

Without thinking, I grabbed a can of Raid that was serendipitously located underneath the bathroom sink and proceeded to drown the insect, which was the size of a crayfish, in it. Ironically, I had purchased this very can myself a year-and-a-half ago to control the ants that were then in the apartment. I can attest that Raid truly does “hunt bugs down and kills them dead.” Scorpions, too.

Lomito = Mystery Meat
Yesterday, I was again feeling antsy – bad choice of words, maybe, after the scorpion – and thought perhaps about going to Santiago. But, then, Solina said she would go there with me on Wednesday, and I would much rather go there with someone to have lunch with at the Posada than to go alone. So, instead, I opted for Chinese food and a long walk along the finca road.

This time I had chap (sic.) suey con lomito. There is no English translation for lomito and the closest I can come to it is “mystery meat.” It is some form of beef. What form it is I really couldn’t say but the dish was another winner. piled high with vegetables and lomito and served with rice. A can of Brava beer seemed the ideal beverage with which to wash it down, all for around $5.00.

Along the Finca Road

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The finca road turns from cobblestones, to dirt, to a paved road with sidewalk outside town. One of many spectacular views from the finca road.

Finca means “estate” in English, and I can only guess that the road gets its name from a coffee plantation that’s at the end of the road. In any event, it appears to be San Pedro’s “high end” neighborhood with many beautiful and lavish homes along the road, although many properties are for sale because of the rising lake. Some homes really are “underwater,” having nothing to do with depressed property values.

As you get out of town, the cobblestones turn to dirt and then further on, the dirt merges into a beautifully paved road compete with a sidewalk. Sidewalks are something of a rarity in San Pedro and I walked along the road until the sidewalk ended, which was some considerable distance. I was rewarded with some magnificent views. Unfortunately, because of the haze, these pictures don’t do the view justice, and there’s only so much magic I can do in PhotoShop.

Sarita’s – The Guatemalan Baskin-Robbins

Since we all know that within a few hours of eating Chinese food, you’re hungry again, and taking into consideration the exercise I had just gotten from this walk, I decided that a sencillo (“simple,” as in a plain cone) of helado (ice cream) was not out of the question. Normally, I’m not a big fan of Sarita’s helado. Overall, I think it’s pretty tasteless, with the exception of the coffee flavor, but as the Guatemalan Baskin-Robbins, Sarita is pretty much the only game in town. Sarita usually doesn’t have the coffee flavor, so I was really happy when I saw it in the freezer case, and thoroughly enjoyed very lick of it.

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