Trapped on the patio in Gringatenanga

Saturday night I had gathered with some nice new friends around the corner from my Spanish school… We sang and had a few beers…and the discussion ranged to the premonitions of some rogue shaman on the lake…


wretched Renzo
Oiy. Sunday was muy e-scarey..

Saturday night I had gathered with some nice new friends around the corner from my Spanish school… We sang and had a few beers…and the discussion ranged to the premonitions of some rogue shaman on the lake… The local soothsayer is calling for big world disaster on the 12-13AUG. I suggested to the party folks that we reconvene in the 14th for another round of great Smokin´Joes BBQ at the Playa Bar and I am still looking forward to this…

But, there must have been some ruboff..

On Sunday I prepared myself ve-r-ry carefully (even debated taking my passport) but instead I put my info sheet with local numbers in my pocket.. I was looking very forward to riding uplake via the launch in the morning and then joining Carlos and some other friends to welcome his-baby-Mommy, their new born son and the maternal inlaws (who had flown in from Bogata) back to the Lake. This was the plan. On my way down stairs, I noticed that Carlos had done a giant laundry and that Renzo was secured by his leash next to his water bowl.. Moments later, my phone rings and Carlos speaks to me telling me that the dog is in his leash…(and?) the part I did not get IMMEDIATLY was that the dog was to stay that way for the day so that he would not tear the laundry up.. But, I had already unleashed the beast when this tidbit sunk in .. So, I promised Carlos that I would be reponsible for the laundry beign dry. To fix coffee, I unlocked the door to the kitchen and TV room and Renzo followed me in… I decided that I would quickly attempt to put the collar back on him but I needed the leash which I had put on the gate. So, to keep the dog in the more controlled space, I shut the door behind me and heard the one way lock go “CLICK.”

Thus, my keys were secured along with other essential objects such as my cellphone, backpack credit cards and cash… I Panicked.. I searched my pockets in utter disbelief. I was locked on the patio at 9AM and who knew when the natal party would return from the capital.. —You will recall that I had already once failed to secure the locked gate and Renzo bolted. So, I was releived to find that, yes, I could get out and get water and make a call to Carlos asking him if he happened to have an extra key to the locked room.
¨No. there is no extra key and I am driving from the capital later.” he told me. I was okay… I had access to my room with plumbing and bed. But, the thought dawned on me that, in the absence of my dictionary, I did not know how to ask for “locksmith” in Spanish and even if I did come up this essential word there was no guarantee that the locksmith would serve this ill spoken gringa…

The good news is that all this is taking place before Carlos heads for Switzerland for 20 days…

I made small sorties to get Diana Mundial snax (popcorn and fried kernals). On one sortie I was all ready to go to the internet around the corner –leaving the gate open for no more than 10 minutes at a time– When I ran into Batman, herself, at the internet spot. We struck up our usual testy conversation. She enlightened me with two cynical tales about handicraft business in this part of Guatemala. Each more sad than the next..She told me that there was a time (in the 1970´s?)when people from the states came down here and opened a bead factory making beaded good in the style of native N. American Indians — this before the designs were protected by copyrights. It seems that there are very few N.A. Indians, who are as willing as the local 8-12 year old girls to do this kind of handicraft for a few Quetzals a day. So, now the N.A. Indians are BUYERS of these crafts and resell them at Powows from Long Island to Oregon.

The second part of this merchantile tale is that the Chines have entered the market and that the tiny street vendors who carry their heavy bundles of cloth through the streets are also carrying goods “made in China.”

So it is Monday morning and after eating very little I sit down to my yummy b·fast of beans, scrambled eggs andtacos next to another gringa from NYC.. She is none too friendly with me, but carries on several other conversations with passing ex-pats regarding the horrible bloom of algae in the lake, the amount of mold in her house and how she will not be back until January when the tormentos are finito… and that´s the news from Lake Atitlan…

Author: diane e. dreyfus

on the road until they put the lid down

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