Friday, December 10, 2010

A Walk in Antigua

It's Saturday and I am enjoying a rest from a just completing week 3 of full 40 hour weeks in Spanish. I walk through the historic cobblestone streets of Antigua. Squeezing past tourists and locals on the narrow sidewalks, I make my way to my favorite shops and restaurants for a bit of respite. This morning was a beautiful trip to the local macadamia farm with the treat of a complimentary facial to experiment their products. I take in every little detail like the teenage boy trying to parallel park the minivan with his mom in the passenger seat with clenched teeth and tension in her grip of the door. As I cross the street, I see the contrast of grown men who don't know the basics of driving or courtesy as he leans over his passenger and slowly drags the car toward the wrong side of the road to get a better look. Nice.

As I peruse the streets, I visit the bus station to change my ticket for one day earlier. Ah, who knew that could be an adventure. But why wouldn't it be? I ask to change it one day earlier and he responds, "Oh we can't. It's Rule #4. Can't change tickets during Christmas." "Ok, but it's NOT Christmas. It's December 4." "Nope. I can't." "Ok, can I talk to the manager." "Uh, yeah, that's me." "Well, the office at home said I could change it anytime up to a day before." "Show me." "Well, here it says I need to confirm a day before." "So it doesn't say anything. You can call that office." So I did. There was no problem to change it. Ah, customer service, how I love you! And that's the short version.

Did I also mention that here they use fireworks for EVERYTHING? Every celebration, any restaurant opening for the day, etc. So apart from fighting the urge to hit the deck every time I heard one today, it was an enjoyable day in Antigua.