In the last post, I made a reference to the “Quiere pan” lady in San Pedro. There are actually many, but one in particular is very persistent with her job of haggling any passerby to buy one of the pastries she carries in a basket on her head. It does not matter how many times you pass by and say no, she will still come at you with her spiel of “Hola! Quiere pan? Pan de banana, pan de chocolate o canela?”
Not a day went by that I did not turn down this offer.
Well, you know you’ve been in San Pedro too long when the “Quiere pan” lady starts saying, “Quieres* pan?” I then knew it was time to catch a bus to my next destination: Quetzaltenango (Xela for short).
I arrived in Xela early this morning, and was pleasantly surprised. Being the second largest city in Guatemala, I wasn’t exactly sure of what to expect – poverty, crime, blackouts, earthquakes – but soon realized it is kind of like a larger Antigua only without all the tourists. Yep, so far no one has really spoken English back at me, I stick out like a sore thumb walking down the street, and some people even stare.
This is going to be a great place to study Spanish!
The amenities of the city are also a pleasure. There’s free wi-fi all over the place, lots of nice cars, clean toilets (still can’t flush the toilet paper), universities, a hospital, lots of police officers, a soccer stadium, firefighters, multiple ATMs, wide sidewalks . . . I even noticed that every person at Pollo Campero was wearing a hairnet! Yes! You almost feel as though you’ve stepped back into civilization!
In hopes of picking up a bit more Spanish (the one-on-one lessons are more than worth the money!), I’m taking a more intensive week of lessons here, which consists of 25 hours of study with a teacher (instead of 20) and living with a Guatemalan family. I meet the family tomorrow, and since I’ll be with them for 3 meals a day for the next 7 days, I hope it is a good one. I heard they live right next to the Gallo and Moza factory (that’s Guatemalan beer for those who don’t know), so maybe they’re into partying? Haha. Wish me luck!
*Quieres would mean that we are on friendly terms.