Guatemala Travel Stories, Page 23

Lost in a Strange City Travel Tip

Lost in a Strange City Travel Tip
Directions or Maps Travel Tips

If you are lost, call a Taxi.

I often come upon people standing along side of the street staring at maps and looking lost. This happened the other day in Antigua, Guatemala as I was walking back to my Hotel. An older couple was holding a small city map of Antigua, and as I made eye contact with the man, he looked at me with a question on his face.

I stopped and said,
“Can I help you?”

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Panajachel, Lago Atitlan, Guatemala
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
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They wanted to return to the central park of Antigua, they seem cautious like maybe I was going to do something. They was lost and nervous, hard to say they was scared, however for sure they was frustrated scared, they was feeling insecure.

I said to them,
“If you do cannot figure out where you are in Antigua, stop one of the Tuk Tuk Taxis, and tell them your Hotel name, it will cost either 10 or 15 Questzals, all taxis in Antigua are the same cost”

Stopped, let that sink into their brain...then said,
“When you leave your Hotel you should always have a business car of brochure with the name and address of the Hotel.”

I repeated this get a taxi travel tip a few times, saying it is ok to get lost and truly getting lost in a city like Antigua where a Taxi cost only 1-2 US Dollars is not a problem, just an annoyance.

If you are lost, call a Taxi; however please remember to have a business card from your hotel in your pocket.

I did not just point down the street; I walked this man and women from the state of Florida in the USA about four blocks. I then pointed directly towards the central park. I went on to explain they needed to find the Market and the Central Park on the Antigua Map. If they are walking in reference to these two benchmarks, they would always be able to know where they are located.

Fear based people often need to live in large Hotels in cities that can be easily be recognized by any taxi driver or residence of the city. It makes tourist feel good to be part of a large Hotel, they feel safer.

When I come upon lost tourist or travelers in a city, I do not give them dodgy directions, I normally walk them to obvious points where they can reaffirm they understand where they are… it is not fun to feel lost in a strange city, that speak a different language.

If you like this feeling, go to China or Korea and you can feel lost on a regular basis.

The nice couple from Florida gave me a perfect reward for my efforts, the man shook my hand, said thank you and said his name, I truly enjoy good manners.

Lost in a Strange City Travel Tip


Two Tribes Meet in Guatemala

Two Tribes Meet in Guatemala
Here is a Photo of two tribes meeting in Guatemala to do business. I have encountered many tribes in my travel of the world for the last 10-11 years of perpetual travel.

How do I know when I am meeting a Tribe?

1. Pieces of clothing that are similar or identical.
2. Jewelry or hairstyle that is similar or identical.
3. When members of a tribe meet others members they show a sense of identity.
4. Single member of a tribe are approachable for conversations.
5. When tribe members are in groups, they often segregate themselves from others.
6. Anger or superstitious like desire to protect the tribe from being forced to change, be included or adapt to other large or smaller tribe social norms.
7. Diversity inside the groups is not encourage, while members often feel themselves unique however in reality they normally have a groupthink mentality.

I could go on for hours here; I am just having fun…

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Panajachel, Lago Atitlan, Guatemala
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
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The meeting of two distinctly defined social groups in Panajachel, Guatemala on Lago, Atitlan. Nether groups is speaking in their native language, however using a learned language as their language of business.


This tribe does not segregate according to color of eye,



It is interesting to meet tribes; many people feel a warm and tender need to become part of a tribe. Non-members of tribes often try to become member of other tribes, or part of the band. Tribes or bands often form based on shared feeling, or comradeship that lacks in introspection or rational needs, needs that are more emotional.

Warning, when you feel strange, or somehow have this instinctual feeling you are not the same, trust your feeling. To interfere or speak up inside tribal groups can be frustrating. In some tribes to disagree can be dangerous, take great care to observe superstitious behavior or behaviors of the group that has no rational basis.

I have discovered that one of the most frustrating feeling of perpetual travel of the planet is the inability to share in tribal behavior. Moving solo from location to location I need to reject traits that would require I behave or have the traits of a group.

TRIBES
Band society - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Seth's Blog Tribe Management
Society - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tribe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
tribe definition of tribe in the Free Online Encyclopedia.
tribe Definition, Synonyms from Answers.com

Two Tribes Meet in Guatemala


Nobody Wants the Palestine People

Nobody Wants the Palestine People
How the World Works

Nobody wants them, including all the countries that surround Israel, which is a mystery to me…

Israel is a Jewish state and Pakistan is an Islamic state, this is like a Motorcycle Club, they wear their colors, their uniforms and they can be touchy if you disobey the club rules.

Israel does not want the Palestine people, and guess what, neither does Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon or Saudi Arabia

Look at the map… and think, what would you do if your family was bombed? Would you try to move to safety, you know be a refugee.

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Antigua, Guatemala
Monday, December 29, 2008
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They want a fight, and this refugee crap means nothing after 50 years of occupation. They are not refugees, the want to live in turmoil; there is no turning the other cheek for the Palestine people living in Israel.

Moreover, the quality of life is much better for the Palestine people than the press leads you to believe. They have air-conditioned buses. I really started to laugh when I saw they had buses that hydraulically lowered to allow the fat Palestine people to enter the bus.

There will never be Peace between these two races of people as long as God is mediating the fight.

A peace loving people would move to the next country over, if they would let them in, the problem is they will not, they want the Palestine people less than Israel.

Nobody Wants the Palestine People


Open Drawer on Nightstand Tip

Open Drawer on Nightstand Tip
Travel Rooms Tips

There are some small Hotel Rooms on Planet Earth. In many Hotel Rooms, Guesthouses, or Bungalows the only place to sit down in the room is the bed. Maybe there is only a bed and nightstand. My room in Antigua, Guatemala was this way; there is not enough room on top of the nightstand to put all the miscellaneous items I wished near my bed. This photo below shows the solution.

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Antigua, Guatemala
Monday, December 29, 2008
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I often pull out the drawer and leave it open, I have about 30-50 percent more space on the top of my nightstand. I like to keep my computer open and on top of the nightstand, however if I am drinking a glass of water it also become dangerous for my computer. I put the glass or cup in the drawer and it is below the computer.

I can put my books, glasses, and even snap a light onto the edge of the drawer. There are many things that ends up on the nightstand, later I put my headsets inside this drawer and my alarm clock. It is amazing how just a few more inches of space on top of the nightstand or drawer increases the usable counter space in a room.

I have pulled this out from the corner about two feet, this allows me reach to my right comfortably and reach my computer or a glass of water.

Take care not too put heavy things in this drawer or the weight will become out of balance and tip over.

I seldom put anything inside a drawer, a closed drawer, a closed drawer is a great way to forget gear when you leave the room.

Travel Rooms Tips

Open Drawer on Nightstand Tip


Pine Needles Tradition in Guatemala

Pine Needles Tradition in Guatemala
In Panajachel, Guatemala on Lago Atitlan there is a tradition it appears of buying Pine Needle and putting in front of their business on Christmas Eve.

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Antigua, Guatemala
Sunday, December 28, 2008
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Mayan women selling pine needles on Christmas Eve in Panajachel, Guatemala across from the Church near the market.



The competition selling pine needles on the opposite corner.



People in Panajachel, Guatemala on Christmas Eve purchased Pine needles and sprinkled them in front of business. By the end of Christmas day, the majority of the pine needles were cleaned.

Does anybody know the reason for this pine needle tradition?

Pine Needles Tradition in Guatemala


Does a Blog Need Comments

Does a Blog Need Comments
Blogs are not online diaries, they are not a web log, (I give up) a Blog system is an easy way for people to make internet pages and not know anything about HTML or Coding, there is no need for Frontpage or Dreamweaver or other programs.

Blogs are something anybody can do, and they do… for any reason, they do not care anything about the word "log."

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Antigua, Guatemala
Sunday, December 28, 2008
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I am out and about monitoring many Travel Journals, if you have one you want me to monitor, post it in the comments below, the best will eventually be written about.

However, I am amiss, does a Blog need to have comments to be called a Blog. I am a purist on many levels, and think a Hostel needs to have Dorm beds; I do not think people on three-month vacations should call themselves Travelers.

I know I am a Tourist; however, I am also a Traveler.

However, if a Blog does not have the option to leave a comment, is it a Blog or just a collection of Articles using a Blog System to make life easy?

Please, do not let me start to be cynical about the question,
“What is a Travel Journal?”

Does a Blog Need Comments


ATM Bank Machine Exchange Rate

ATM Bank Machine Exchange Rate
Money Travel Tip

What exchange rate do you get when you use an ATM Machine, the bank machine formally called an Automatic Tell Machine. This is the machine where you put the Plastic Debit or Credit Card in and it gives you money.

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Antigua, Guatemala
Sunday, December 28, 2008
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World Exchange Rates can change rapidly, therefore to test the exchange rate of an ATM Card you need to do the same day. I went to the ATM machine here in Guatemala and extracted 2000 Quetzals the money of Guatemala.

I then got on my favorite internet site that computes exchange rate, I use the full link because it appears to have all the currencies of the world.
http://www.xe.com/ucc/full/

The internet address or domain here is great, I just need to type in xe.com, very easy to remember or type in an internet cafe. Hoowever I still have the full link in the favorites or bookmarks of my internet browser.

This is what is said:

2,000.00 GTQ = 260.534 USD
Guatemala Quetzales - United States Dollars
1 GTQ = 0.130267 USD 1 USD = 7.67655 GTQ

1 USD = 7.67655 GTQ this is the exchange rate, however not the complete truth, the bank charged me a fee.

I got on my Bank Website and checked out how much money it said was extracted in Dollars, even though I took out the Guatemala currency of 2000 Quetzal, it still says I took out 260.45 Dollars

The Banks Says 260.45 and the currency converter says I should get 260.53 USD, so I lost .08 Cents USA, a negligible difference.

BANK STATEMENT

260.45
INTERNATIONAL CASH WITHDRAWAL
CALLE PRINCIPAL Z., AJACHEL

5.21
INTL TRANSACTION FEE
2% OF $260.45

Total:
260.45 + 5.21 = 265.66

DIVISION

265.66 / 2000 = 0.1328
1 GTQ = 0.1338 USD

2000 / 265.66 = 7.5284
1 USD = 7.5284 GTQ

1 US Dollar gave me 7.5284 Quetzals with an ATM Machine.

The point of Money Travel Tip is to show you the math, help you to understand what happens when you use an ATM machine. I personally use the ATM 100 percent of the time, there is no way I can carry enough money or traveler checks with me to travel for years., I personally need an ATM with a Debit Card System to Travel.

Would it be better to carry cash?
Would it be better to carry Travel Checks?
Would it be better to only use Credit Cards?

Fees, there are fees, totally confusing fees, the average person is confused and this is the way the Money Changers want it. I personally believe the Bank Fees are usury, any way you do it the Money Changers should be thrown out... one World Currency would be nice.

ATM AUTOMATED TELLER MACHINES
Automated teller machine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Seeking after the truth in computer evidence any proof of ATM fraud -- Castell 38 (6) 17 -- ITNOW
snopes.com ATM Camera
Welcome to MasterCard Worldwide

ATM Bank Machine Exchange Rate


Chapin Guatemala Slang

Chapin Guatemala Slang
Soy Chapin igual que mi papito”

I am Chapin same as my Papa.

Chapin: Nickname to describe people from Guatemala.

Normally I would call them a Guatemalan or Guatemalteco; however, this word could have a problems, not politally correct in Guatemala. Chapin seems to be more what a Mayan would want to call themselves. There is some racial division between the rich Mestizos of Guatemala City and the Mayans of the countryside.

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Panajachel, Guatemala
Saturday, December 27, 2008
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I think Chapin also has the connotation of the slang use of the word “Cool” in the USA.



Here is a list of other words that a T-shirt has associated with the word Chapin.

Warning, learning a language is full of problems, and to understand slang can take years to understand. This is like a disclaimer, it is possible all my thoughs, opinions and words I typed above could be totally wrong. Yo no esta Chapin.

CHAPIN - SLANG
Cultural Cheatsheet for Guatemala Travel Advice by On the Road Travel
Mestizo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Racial Slur Database - describe
Urban Dictionary chapin

Chapin Guatemala Slang