August 30, 2007

Lake Atitlan

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:12 pm by changisme

Standing by Lake Atitlan, I am urrounded by birdsons in this clear morning. All the olcnos around the lake have more or less shreds of misty necklaces. The sun has just rsen, arely over the mountain tops. Light, sunlight, granted everything near and far a resounding beauty.

It is really the light that is beautiful? That is too flat an answer. Though it is true that it reflects differently off of each finger of nature, just like it is really air that sings, vibrating in different harmonies off of the tongues all over the world.. It really is silly to ttribute tthe wonders of the world to God or to his creation, while I could ju7st sit here  in the greatest songbook ever written.
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Can you imagine? Once upon a time, this grand tranquil of a lake used to be a volcano high up amongst the couds? Now over many many years, it has sunk deep into the earth, and the water that is now nurrshing so much wild life and the endless cornfields welled up.

I an not grasp the scale of this process. I feel lke a grain of sand, but grateful, really, for this world as it reaches out me regardless how much I take part in this nature.
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I just met an old german who´s been living here for 16 years. He makes jewelery. He´s much in love with this land and told me about some small villages around. How santiage was wiped out by hurricane just 2 or 3 years go.

People lead such different lives. Seeing his healthy but aged frame walking away n the silluette from the sunshne, I felt he was part of this great piece of aet.

Finding a hostel

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:00 pm by changisme

I arrived at Panaachel thinking finding a hostel would just be as easy as in Antigua or Flores or Copan. It turned out that only the luxury hotels were visible here and addresses from huide books hardly helps. I asked around while buing some black flour tortllas to eat (very good).   I was directed to a place clled ´camping´. I thought t was a name of a hostel, who could have guessed after many twists and turns, I found myself in front of a real camp ground… without a clearing.. in otherwords… a jungle land fensed up. I bit my lips bitterly and called a tsuc tsuc askng if he knows anywhere not so expensive to live. He says he knows somewhere for 40Q. That´s wonderful, I thought and got on. it turned out he took me to a place near the beach costing way more, but the attendant was so nce seeing I´m at lost, directed me into this nameless little … path  (can hardly be called a street).

It´s a maze inside that path, branches after branches. No name or number could be found, but there are actually quite a few of these hostels. I found myself a nice room for 25Q, there are no other travellers in there… (I wish there were other people though… just like  those I got to be friends with last seeral idays).

my paranoia to an insect bte…

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:53 pm by changisme

Yesterday I was walking on a narrow street with no side walk, and all of a sudden a chicken bus squacked at me from the back. I was startled and hopped near a bush. God knows what kind of ush it was or what was in there, all I felt was a really painful sting. My finger started hurtng like there´s no tomorrow. It was not much less than it was when I was burnt by liquid nitrogen 15 years ago.

Soon a white sore speared in the pink tenderness of the skin surrounding the sot and the circulation entre under m thumb started throbbing.

Now I was really nervous and went to a pharmacy. I asked about tghe sting and the pharmacist said, oh it looks like n insect bit, and gave me a little bit of antiinflamitory ream  asked if it could be poisonous because by then, my lymphnode under my armpit was throbbing also. He looked at me puzzled and asked me to ome tomorrow if it doesn´t stop.

I had a las glance at the kind looking man with heavy eyebrows, and felt quite alone and helpless. I guess it´s these things on a trip that gets to you. I prayed for peace in mind and found an internet cfe and complainted to those friends of mine I felt familiar with.

I felt  like complaining about how people here stare at me like I were an extinctive species, They are more  used to caucassians than asians. People would giggle when I waslk by and some yells ´japon! japon!!´. I explained at first, but soon got ver yirritated., This didn´t happen so much in Antigua, not as much anyway.

I felt like complaining how hard it is to eat some leafy vegetables. I can eat a head of plain lettuce anytime now.

I went to bed early and slept with vaguely remembered dreams. Now I woke up with no pan but a mild hunger in my stomach. Can´t elp but laugh at myself now. I gave my selt a gentle pat on the back.

August 28, 2007

Mayan ruins.

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:30 am by changisme

 I went to two ruins. One in Hondoras, another one is the biggest called Tickal. The one is Copan Hondoras is smaller, but  more artistic. There are many carvings of the 16 empires taht dominated this area. All the structures used to be painted red and still have traces of red paint till today. It amazing how they can build so much solid monuments.  There were large fields when religious ceremonies used to be performed. Looking around me, i felt a tinge of fear. I felt that we could do so many things and yet, really do so little. I felt that I probably am indulging in something just like the Mayan nobles. What they believed didn´t just fade into nothingness, but their existence was largely lost. Really it doesn´t seem to matter…
 
Tikal is a grand site. It´s enormity was breathtaking. Different from Copan, Tikal´s jungle is still well preserved. We climbed onto the highest pyramids before sunrise, the stairs are so high. Our Copan guides said that these stairs were for sitting mostly. I wonder if th novles used to have people carrying them up, or they could just be very tall, because one king did get discovered, and he was 183cm.
 
Before sunrise, the jungle was soo busy. There were tons of heller monkeys and other types of monkeys scraeming their lungs out, there were birds waking up, there were owls… The sun broke the clouds and shone on the antient monuments. It looked tired and gnarled. I felt sad… Something stand so large and has no choice but to see the birth and death of its own people.
 
There were many groups of ruins, including some residential areas and sacrifical sites. We also saw a huge grasshopper, which I took a picture of. It could fly and looked like a bird!!

coffee plantation and little Mayan museum

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:14 am by changisme

bar

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:00 am by changisme

The real touristsm and internationalism can be experienced in the many bars in Antigua. In fact, people from the States and other places come and work here so long as they know some spanish. When Anoukh and I went, there were many signs in English saying ¨Ladies night¨. We met some other travellers in the place called Riki´s. Like many houses in the city, we had to walk deep into the building through a snaking walkway. It sort of reminds me of Harry Potter. I felt a lot of fun seeing how people act differently in such a social situation. I guess I also felt kinda…. bad paying attention to such things.

August 24, 2007

rain

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:03 am by changisme

The weather had been great until wednesday. A hurrican e hit mexico and the wather pattern here had been disrupted since. I just hope the roads to Cpan, Honduras and Tikal will be alright.

The rain seems to have made the teeenagers at my bnb rather moody. They left school a little later than each of  ther usual times.

When I got out, I know why that’s so miserable. The streets were pretty hard to walk o. Many parts are flooded with potholes of water. I guess that’s the price for keeping the historical cobblestones.

volcano (continued)

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:00 am by changisme

After getting the ticket, I was wrapped around in layers by brown little faces. I couldn’t find exct change for 5 Quatzeles, when I clumsily expressed that, everyone was still pushing, but a little girl, the only girl in fact, ran to the ticket office and made some change. Wouldn’t you just want to buy the stick for her quick wits?

The climbing up was not stranuous, pero the road was a bit rough. At first, it ws slippery mud. On the road side, there were luge holes, which made me wonder if they were to trap water or animals or even humans!

Even though it’s high land, and the temperature is not high, all the plants have huge leaves the size of a chubby face. At the lower parts, there were corn fields. I loved the corn I ate the previous night. It combined the greate taste of the sweet north american corn and the starchiness of chinese corn.

When we reached a certain altitude, tall plants faded away , instead there were ferny grassy patches. We soon started descending into the bowl of the mountain top.

The volcanic dust was all around us at the meantime, and the volcanic rocks were shaded gray at first, but soon were all black. They were very hard to climb on because they crumble like gronola! They were also sharp and prickly like neddles. I made the mistake by wearing shorts, which left me to the sharks. I had some messy scratches. Our guide said it’s my souvenir from Volcan Pacay >_<

We could also feel the heat by then, and soon saw a glow when we reached it. It was like an oven or the mouth of hell. A few steps later, we saw a spetacular sight. Glowing lava flowing to our direction in detectable speed, creating a path shaped like a big S. It was so hot that I could hardly stand still to take a picture. My lefgs were burning. Some people put marshmelows on thestick and cooked it.

One of the guys in our group poked in under our own feet, and found more lava. I had this taunting and awy vision of the earth  exhaling throw her big mouth.

Before we went down, I trie dto clean up my own internal lava a bit, and it really looked quite similar to that of the earth. Can you believe it? Earth is bleeding riht in front of our own eyes.

On our way down, the sun has set. I have to tell you, sticks were much more ueful down than up, and much better than flashlights, but such statement coming from me, may need to be taken with a grain of salt.

So there concluded my trip to the volcano pacapy, an active, volcano, leaving me quite a tatoo.

volcano

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:15 am by changisme

I never knew I could be so close to the lava.

About 2 hours away from antigua, there is a village near by in small but colorful houses. We arrived in a minivan with five others. Everyone else seem to speak good spanish, but Anoukh and I.

Before we even got outo f the van, we were surrounded by children carrying sticks more than a meter in length and about an inch in diameter. It ave me  start at first, but I soon realized they were selling them as walking sticks. These children were anywhere from 4 to 12, looking quite confident in themselves.

to be continued…

August 23, 2007

food

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:45 am by changisme

so far, the food here seems to be largely storage roots or stem, fruits and grain. I had potatoes, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes… rce and beans. There is a lot of fried bananas too. I think I miss leafy vegetables already. Surprisingly I don´t miss meat all that much; it hink squash and beans are pretty good substitutes! Well.. they eat a lot of chicken as well in fact, but not dinner. Their dinner seems to be pretty small, but the lunch is bigger.
 
I made a silly mistake once by mixing up potato(papa) and father(paPA), sorry I don´t know how to type the accent.´It was quite funny and embarrassing. I thought… they eat so much potatoes that they might as well call them paPA.
 
 

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