Day 73 – Antigua, GU

Day 73 – Antigua, GU     11/02/10     Mileage: 0

 School day…crap! Today was my first day in Spanish School and class starts at 8, so I was up and out the door at 7:30 for the short walk to Probigua…the name of my school. Antigua is known for Spanish schools which are numerous and inexpensive…which is why I chose to study here.

Probigua Spanish School...

The "classroom" is actually an outside covered patio with a garden in the back...pretty cool!

My school costs $125 per week for 4 hours per day of 1 on 1 instruction….that’s pretty good! I met my instructor, Christina, and before we even sat down she went right in on me in Spanish: Buenas dias, como te llama? To which I said…no thanks I had coffee. She chuckled and shook her head as she realized that she had her work cut out for her. I was surprised that she didn’t speak any more English than I spoke Spanish. But then again, I wasn’t there to learn English…I was there to learn Spanish and I was after all in a Spanish immersion school. So, on with the immersion I went, and after 4 hours of butchering every word and phrase in my kindergarten Spanish book, the language massacre mercifully ended. Christina said there was still hope for me, but I’m sure she says that to all the gringos. I said adios to Christina and went back to El Gato Negro to lick my mental wounds. I also worked on the blog and made some calls home on Skype before heading out to find dinner.

Tienda's are basically convenience stores, and I passed "Tienda Shalom" while walking around. Do they sell matzah there...I wonder?

I settled at bar that happened to have an Adam Sandler movie playing on a TV behind the bar. The sound was off but there were Spanish subtitles. I sat there trying to read the subtitles with my newly acquired Spanish prowess, but only proved how far I had to go as I was the only one not howling in laughter. Just then the bartender asked: Hola amigo, como te llamas? Sure, I’ll have another beer…  😉

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Day 72 – Antigua, GU

Day 72 – Antigua, GU     11/01/10     Mileage: 0

 I was up relatively early and walked to the center square for a coffee before returning to the Black Cat for breakfast. This morning I chose the “typical”,  which was scrambled eggs, beans, fresh farm cheese, avocado, tomato and whole wheat toast…also included with my $7 bunk room bed…amazing! Today I spent quite a while on the blog, did some laundry and taking a long walk around town.

I didn't take many (good) pictures today for some reason, so here is my one token shot of a rare sight in these parts....a Ducati Multistrada!

At night I also found a fun gringo bar called the Monoloco. Even the bar tenders were from the US and were it not for the bouncers sporting metal detectors to scan the patrons at the door, it could have easily been a sports bar in Denver. It was definitely surreal after weeks of only hearing Spanish. So after a proper gringo meal of beer and chicken fingers, I was off to the relative luxury of my single room!

Day 71 – Antigua, GU

Day 71 – Antigua, GU     10/31/10     Mileage: 0

 Today was going to be a good day, not because I had anything good planned, but because I had absolutely nothing planned. I had no “chores” that needed to be done, and no ware that I needed to be but right here, right now, right where I’m am. That is a great feeling for sure and I was basking in the freedom. After a great breakfast of fresh fruit, granola and yogurt with honey, (which came with my $7 bunk bed!) I was off to walk around town to see the parts of town I had yet to visit.

The town square...

The Cathedral on the town square...

One more of the Cathedral...

The architecture is great to admire…

A random street in the town center..

Another street downtown with the ever visible Volcano Agua...

La Merced Church...

Along the way I was enjoying the Spanish colonial architecture and in particular the doors.

These doors are very real and very heavy!

Here's another...

....and another...

....sick of doors yet?

OK, last one...

Volcano Fuego also puffed out some smoke and ash which I could see right from town…pretty wild!!

Volcano Fuego puffing out some ash...cool!

Today was also the big Day of the Dead celebration and people all over town were making preparations for tonight’s celebration. After having lunch in a nice cafe, I went back to the hotel for some wifi and a shower. At sundown the festivities switched into high gear and there were people everywhere, many in costumes ranging from a simple mask to a movie worthy costume.

The street scene on Day of the Dead....now night of the dead I guess...

The pictures are not that good, but you get the idea...

There were Latin woman everywhere dressed as the hot nurse, the hot teacher, the hot school girl, the hot devil, the hot policia woman, the hot bar maid, the hot farm girl and every other occupation worthy of being sexed up. Some other notable costumes were 4 Chilean miners complete with headlamps, a Mad Hatter that could have walked off of a movie set and one group of guys all in drag that were hilarious. I stayed out as long as I could so as to delay the inevitable return to the bunk room. Thankfully tomorrow I can move to a single room with my own bathroom…ahhhh.