Friday, September 12, 2008

Saved by the Banana Bandit

The thing that initially struck me about Guatemala, and by "struck" I mean, "put a black garbage bag over my whole body, shoved me into a sweaty steam room, piled blankets on top of me and then sat on my face & wouldn't get off" was, yes, how UNbe-FREAKIN'-LIEVABLE the heat was. Pardon, but HOLY WHAT THE HELL. (<-- I said that phrase in a moment of freaking out on the trip and i liked it. I like the holy/hell use. Interesting.)

Never in my LIFE have i been in such intolerable heat. And when I say intolerable i mean INTOLERABLE. It made me physically ill almost every time we were outside. I thought I knew what horrible horrible heat and humidity were but NO. I was wrong, DEAD WRONG. This place takes the cake, and it takes it and it melts it instantaneously into glop, even if it was an ice cream cake. Speaking of, my metabolism slowed to a complete standstill and food no longer appealed to me, though i knew i needed to eat. It was weird. In fact, I'm not sure i was ever that hungry this entire trip.

After we dropped off our stuff into our super cute room at Del Patio, we decided to venture out (at 1pm--fools!) and visit the island town of Flores. Flores is a little village or something that is on an island on some lake. That's pretty cool and I wish i knew more about it and had been able to explore more had I not been suffering from heat stroke at every turn.

Here we are getting out of a little scooter cab thing which was small and strange and entertaining to ride in. Ever so small, it was.

p.s. the currency in Guatemala is Quetzales. The ratio is like 1:7 so we had to be good at our 7 times table (which we are). Quetzales is a fun word that we said often. Try it: Kets-ALL-ace.

We wandered around Flores for a little while before we stopped at a restaurant for a place to sit. Here's a tip: when you're walking around in a hot hot place and the place is deserted except for you and some other Americans, and before the delirium from the heat starts to overcome your brain, think WHY it may be deserted. I am not kidding about the siesta. Nap or don't but get yourself indoors NOW.

This is a picture of some cute buildings with the lake in the background.

We tried to eat some lunch at a restaurant. I mean, we did eat it, and it was nice but SO, SO HOT OUT!!

Here is a picture of me about to cry because it's so hot. Just kidding, i'm just reading the menu but there's a weird look on my face. Maybe that's my "reading face."

Guess what? Guatemalans are no vegetarians. More on this later. On a related note, i think Sean and I ARE vegetarian now. (again, kidding, don't be ridiculous. But after having steak and/or chicken and/or sausage for every meal, I think i'm good for a while.)

We ate most of our meals at the hotel since I could take no more than a few steps outside without falling over. We sat at the restaurant on el patio at Del Patio and our servers were so nice and it was just us there for some reason--is it the off season?? seriously what's going on. Anyway, i know i've said maybe enough about the heat but guess what, I HAVEN'T, because that's just how awful it was. You do not know heat, NONE OF YOU!! unless maybe Gary who probably doesn't read my blog. We sat in our chairs and I stared off, my pulse dangerously low, my will to go on even lower. I have a blip to go here.

At Del Patio I would order what is called batido de banano, which is Spanish for "heaven in a glass." As I sat, being slowly strangled by the invisible anaconda wrapped around my throat--I mean the heat, just as I was about to succumb and darkness would take over, I'd take a sip of this chilled frothy dream, and it would bring me back. If only I could take a batido de banano wherever I went.

I kept accidentally calling it bandito de banano, hence the bandit, which I like. I have never partaken of anything so delicious in all of my life. I took a sip and was shocked. "WHOA!" i said. I'm not sure all that it consisted of--bananas, cream, and a little bit of magic? but it is the best thing i have ever had. And they put an ice cube in it to keep it cool, bless them. Oh, banana bandit. Sweet life-giving elixir of mysteries and happiness.

I know i've already said many of the same things but I'm going to put in another blip I wrote about the heat. This will take us to the following day, the day of Tikal.

I have never been in such unbearable heat as this. Belize was bad when we'd walk through town, walking along the beach was cooler. But Guatemala! I drink water like a horse but the heat makes me ILL. Food looks disgusting. I can't catch my breath, the heat and humidity are so unbelievably stifling. And I feel like i'm having some kind of panic attack. I think I feel claustrophobic! That's what it is! I almost gag on it. After trying to go out and explore Flores, Sean and I holed up in our hotel room. This morning we are preparing for our Mayan day outing and I said to Sean, half hysterically, "I hope I don't DIE today. I mean, what am I supposed to do?? I'm drinking as much water as I can. I'm not a MACHINE!!??" I hate being a wuss. I will not let the elements beat me. Which is why I laugh in the face of heat stroke death and wear my sun t-shirt today to show that I am unafraid.

Famous last words/picture......


Joel said...

That first paragraph is one of the funniest things I have ever read.

Ashley said...

I know we haven't even gotten to the event(s) that followed the famous last words, but still. I'm riveted. Please continue asap.

)en said...

Ha ha. Eeeexcellent. :D

Soon, Ash. Very soon. I feel like we're all getting bored of the trip posts (i know i am) but I think we'll go out with a bang. Or at least a nice *pop!* I'm glad you're riveted though.

)en said...

p.s. i love that picture of you on your profile so very much.

Michelle said...

I like your shirts!