Saturday, November 09, 2013

Driving and Lunch Decisions

The group picked me up and shuttled me outside where we were soon to meet the rest of the party. The matriarch (and person responsible for me being in Guatemala) very much reminded me of my aunt from New Jersey, with a blend of my favorite Korean coordinator from Ministry of Ed days. She also looked like the mother of Samantha from Bewitched, and for no reason that I can really put my finger on (or perhaps because of the way she looked) I just couldn't help thinking of her as Esmeralda. (Yes I am aware that name is not the name of Samantha’s mother from Bewitched, but I always thought it should have been.)¿

“Hi, Sara! ¿Como estas? How was the flight? It’s so good to see you. Si, si, si, si, no…” She had this habit of starting a conversation and then suddenly taking a phone call in the middle of this.

“You get it, right?” asked the Guatemalan I knew, who recommended me for the conference.

“I lived in Asia for twelve years, I get it.”

The plan was that we were all meeting and going to go to lunch.

“We are going to Antigua for lunch, Sara, it’s lovely you will love it, it’s where everyone goes, great food…” She continued on, really talking more to herself than to anyone else. We all piled into the van driven by the same chauffeur who had picked me up at the airport, who smiled as he remembered me, and we were off for my first real drive through Guatemala. On the first day the trip was actually rather short, as the hotel was only about ten minutes from the airport. Having not left the hotel, I had not seen much of anything, so this would be my first chance to do so.

Guatemala City reminded me of older cities in Korea, where things had not really started going yet, a bit run down and all on top of itself with people walking to and fro. As we drove through the city tidbits were often tossed my way but in no reasonable order and with little rhyme or reason, making it hard to keep up with what I was learning and how it applied.

The few things I picked up were that we were driving through the country and it was about an hour to our destination.

We were going to have lunch.

Antigua was an older city, popular now as a place for shopping and eating.

If I liked museums we could see a museum. I said I was very happy to see whatever I could see.

That seemed to settle it and it was settled: we would first stop by a museum and then after that go to the park and then to lunch. Of course, there were also a lot of clouds, so there was discussion of the possibility that the park might be cancelled, but we would make an effort.

Either way, the first stop would be a museum.

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