Walden World

The wacky and wonderful tales of Beth's and Catherine's global adventures. And all things Walden too.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Homeland Security

C and i sit in Antigua, Guatemala waiting for a shuttle to take us from this town to the Mayan spiritual home of Chichicastenango. Antigua sits beneath three huge volcanos: one a classic pyramid shape, another consisting of two matched volcanos and the third a huge creature which belches lava, smoke and rock day and night. At sunset yesterday the firey smoke from Pacaya, the very active sister, looked like an orange torch of fireworks.

Our adventures have been limited so far, having been here only since 3 yesterday, though C might be nominated for the Darwin Awards by the Office of Homeland Security. At the airport in T.O. she espied an abandoned bag sitting by a door, away from any secured zone and being the good Samaritan she is, despite my repeated warnings, picked it up and brought it into the airport and wandered around with it. She finally found an open Air Transat counter and announced to the workers there that she had found this abandoned bag outside and would they please take it. She put it on the counter and I watched as the terrified staff ran away and yelled: Ï don´t want it, it could be a bomb, take it away¡

C responded by running backwards. Luckily we were not in Israel or no doubt she would have been shot. Luckily security showed up immediately to investigate the leper bag and C was not taken into custody for interogation.

I was happy she did not do something similar in the George Bush International Airport in Houston during our stopover. The airport swarms with soldiers on leave from Iraq and Afghanistan going home for Christmas. The quantity of military personnel is astounding. It reminded me of Israel where everyone between 18 and 20 is in uniform. Most of the soldiers appear to be poor white young men and women most from the south judging by their accents as they excitedly call family and announce they will soon be home.

Here in Antigua we were awakened at the ungodly hour of 6:45 am by some workers who elected to blast strange Guatemalan latin versions of Christmas carols downstairs. I used to love The Little Drummer Boy but fear it may be now ruined forever. I never realized how repetitive it is until it was accompanied by a reggae beat. The sing along aspect of the carols did not assist in our enjoyment of them nor the fact that all night people came and rang the doorbell starting at 2 am to get back into the hotel. I would have preferred the hated insomniac rooster from Nazareth.

More soon from Chi Chi...


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