polvo from the sky
Tuesday, March 21 2006
setting: Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
Something about the way my brain is wired makes Tuesday harder than other days. It's always great when the day of classes come to an end at 1:30pm, but never as great as it is on a Tuesday. The one fun thing that happened today was a shower of volcanic dust, "polvo," that rained out the sky (classes at Celas Maya are held mostly around individual tables in an outdoor courtyard). According to Alma polvo falls down upon Xela whenever a strong wind blows from the south and catches the plume of Santiaguito. I tasted a black fleck of Santiaguito dust but it had no flavor at all.
In the afternoon I was back at work on the Celas Maya website, ruing my decision to ever take it on. I could have been out enjoying my vacation, but instead here I was, doing what I'd gone on my vacation to leave behind! But it was actually worse than that. At home I work on code that I reuse and expand upon, building a steadily-increasing library of knowledge. Here in Guatemala I was doing relatively simple HTML editing. But it was still somehow satisfying in its own way to impose order on markup that had never known order, to break out the repeated blocks of navigation and formatting and put them into the includes they should have been in from the start.
Meanwhile Gretchen had been having a mediocre-to-poor experience at sauna some 45 minutes away. When she returned we headed out to dinner, ending up (as we often do when we we're feeling uncreative) at the reliably-good Casa Babylon. One of our fellow students, Maria, was there. She's Swedish but speaks English like a heartland gringo. I ordered a tofu pizza just because it had been so good last time I'd had it, but wouldn't you know, the cheese on it was somewhat spoiled and it smelled a kind of like garbage. Nevertheless, I was able to convince myself that the cheese smelled that way because it was that kind of cheese, an excuse that allowed me to devour all that delicious tofu. But it must have been an off-night for Casa Babylon, because the tofu wasn't as good as I'd remembered it being the other night.
Along with my pizza I drank another liter of beer. I've been working so hard on the Celas Maya website that I haven't even had time to study my Spanish, so I figure the least I can do for myself by way of a vacation is to drink a lot of Guatemalan beer.
In the evening Gretchen went out to a bar somewhere to celebrate a classmate's birthday with friends. Being a woman walking the dark streets of Xela alone, she was sure to arrange some form of escort home, or so she implied. She tends to be fearless, even in the face of real danger, and I wouldn't be surprised if she just told me and our madre this afterward to make us feel better retroactively.
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