What I’ll miss (about Central America)

My travels in Central America began on March 1, 2014. When I planned this leg of the journey, I worried that two months might be too long a time to travel mostly by myself here.

Now I realize that it wasn’t nearly enough.

There are about a million and one things that I will miss about Central America (Honduras and Guatemala in particular). I supposed you could roughly categorize them, so I will attempt to do so here.

First, because I am a human vacuum cleaner, I will miss the food.

1. Frijoles
Beans, beans, the magical fruit. While I did not have any problems like those indicated in the popular rhyme, I *did* eat them with almost every meal. Honorable mention to any type of desayuno tipico, or typical breakfast. These vary from country to country, but they usually include beans, eggs, and tortillas. And fried plantains if you’re lucky that day.

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Guatemalan desayuno tipico. I could seriously swim in those beans.

2. Chuchitos
We have already discussed my love for chuchitos.
3. Licuados
4. Guatemalan coffee (aka ridiculously good and ridiculously inexpensive cappuccinos)

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Handcrafted by my buddies at Y Tu Piña También in Antigua
5. Guacamole
Another food product that I could swim in.

Other non-food things that I will miss:

1. Views like this on a regular basis:

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2. Latin-American Spanish
I have worked SO HARD to get to a point where I can speak this. And I like the way it sounds. (Do you know what my favorite Guatemalan Spanish word is? Poporopos. It means “popcorn.” See? Isn’t that awesome?) And within a few days,I will be in London speaking English, and then within a week, I will be in Spain, and the Spanish there is from another universe: different words, different sound (all those “corathons” and “Lorenthos“), and a faster speed. So it makes me a little sad.

3. People that I’ve met along the way
I know that I’ve already mentioned a ton of people in previous posts, and I know that it goes without saying that I will miss them, but here are some more:

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Megan, on what we jokingly called our “non-romantic friend date” when we splurged on a nice dinner in Antigua

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Chicki (and Roberto, not pictured) from Y Tu Piña También, my favorite cafe in Antigua

4. Affordability
A private room for $15. A haircut for $5. A nice meal for $7. When I was researching the cost of hotel rooms in France for May, I cried a little inside.

5. Bachata, bachata everywhere!
Every single song ever released by Romeo Santos playing on a continuous loop for two consecutive months. Restaurants, radio, bars, while driving in shuttles and cars. I love it. (Except for Drake’s rap interlude during the song “Odio.” Why doesn’t he just belch in the middle of the song? It would have about the same effect on me).

6. The animals
Yes, you read that correctly. For anyone who does not know me well, I am NOT an animal person. I have never owned – nor have ever wanted- a pet. I enjoy the idea of animals, but more so in an “Oh, hai sweet doggy, how – no, you need to stay over there” sort of way. Some of this has to do with allergies. But sometimes I really just don’t want an animal jumping on me.

A few little guys have changed my mind. (OK, not about the jumping part or the sneezing part, but these two were really sweet).

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The cat at Cafe Cristalina’s in San Pedro had just had two kittens, who often hid in the wall between the sitting area and the kitchen. Maybe she was just a new mom who needed a break, but she just hopped right up and fell asleep.

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Maggie, who lived with my homestay family in Antigua. Every day, she would jump up next to me (not on me. Thank you, Maggie) and forcibly nuzzle her head beneath my arm so that I’d have no choice but to hug her. She dares you not to fall in love with her.

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Here’s one for Ripley’s Believe It or Not

Things I will NOT miss upon leaving Central America:
1. Not being able to drink tap water or open my mouth in the shower
2. Not being able to flush toilet paper
3. The smell of trash burning
4. “Guatemalan time.” I’m definitely not the most prompt person in the world, but this is ridiculous sometimes
5. Not going out alone after dark, even to a cafe, in certain cities. (I was so lucky that San Pedro did not fall into this category). This was a tough one for me. I consider myself to be a very independent person. I travel alone. At home, I go out by myself to the movies or dinner or concerts all the time. Even though I love to be social and do things with friends, I really like to be alone sometimes. So it was frustrating for me to visit places where I *could* have gone out alone, but then maybe it was not the greatest idea for me to walk back at 10pm by myself. Or the tuk-tuks or cabs weren’t really so easy to find at that time, and I didn’t want to be stuck somewhere. It makes me really appreciate the relatively safe environments I have lived in in the U.S.

Despite this… I really don’t want to leave! But England and then the Camino await, so here I go. 😦 / 🙂 ?

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