I’ve been in Antigua long enough now that I feel I have moved past having the official title of “tourist”. I’ve grown accustomed to the routine and feel a little bit more comfortable here with each passing day. Just like in any place I’ve lived in for an extended period of time, I’ve come to have my favorites; favorite restaurant, favorite internet café, favorite bakery, favorite laundry place, favorite place for coffee, favorite music venue, etc.
Also, for someone who is as directionally challenged as I am, I’ve come to know my way around quite well. I still only know the name of about two streets here, one of them being the street I live on, Colonia Candelaria, but I can recognize landmarks and buildings all over and never have to stop to ask for directions.
The regulars on the street are becoming familiar to me as well. There is the girl with no hands who draws incredible pictures with her feet outside of Café Condesa, the woman who sells super fresh cut up fruit at her post on the corner near the coffee shop I go to everyday, and the man who plays the harmonica while sitting Indian style near McDonalds. There are some interesting characters here. Scanner Dan, the hunger strike guy, and the piccolo player in the orange jumpsuit who all have wandered the streets of Madison, WI, have some competition here for most interesting and unusual street person.
Although I feel comfortable here and have a good sense of the city, I still feel there is a lot more to explore and discover. One of the most interesting things I’ve found about the architecture here is that you really never know what lies behind a door. For example, I’ve walked by this one store near the park a million times. It looked pretty small, but interesting, and one day I decided to stop in. I was amazed to find that it was not just a store but an enormous indoor market that went on for at least a block inside with probably 50 different vendors. I still feel there are many more places like this to be discovered in the few weeks I have left here.
One strange thing I’ve actually not been used to this past week is the dry weather. It is the rainy season here, which means you can pretty much guarantee there will be rain in the afternoon. The first three weeks this was like clockwork. Around 2 o’clock, no matter how sunny it had been in the morning, the clouds started to roll in and you knew rain was coming. But now it’s been over a week without a drop. This actually has a name, coliqula or something like that. As strange as it sounds, I miss the rain a little bit, but not too much.
I’ll leave you with some more pictures of the city I’ve come to call home, but check back in soon This weekend there will be a hike of an active volcano, a trip to the macadamia nut farm, and possibly a chicken bus ride to the town of Pastores where custom made boots can be bought.
“No Rain” –Blind Melon