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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Savant

Peaceful Panajachel

Updated: Dec 7, 2020


The rain was much less today, confirmed by a few rays of sunshine which only seem to appear about 11 in the morning. Of course, I'm here in the final couple of months of rainy season but it doesn't dampen my experience. Pun intended nyuk nyuk.

More street explorations and encounters. The ladies selling blankets and wraps here are even more tenacious than in Mexico. Young and old, they ask your name and call you a friend despite repeated "no gracias" only to switch to the tactics of saying they'll give you a day to think on it and will see me tomorrow. I swear one old lady could sell a saxophone to a man with no lips.

There was sunshine on the lake and the views were great, between interruptions of "Hello amigo. You wish to go in boat? No? I am an artist. Here. You buy these beautiful pen covers I made. No? Here is a bird quetzal for keys. No? Yes you buy. You are my friend. No? Here is a beautiful different color you buy? No? Put the gun away my friend. I see you mañana and you buy then!"

Wanderings and photos found, including the mercado away from the tourist area, the best small one I've encountered yet. As the day faded to darkness I ran across a photo and copy place and had a small print made for an old man I'd photographed. The rains came as I tried to find his stall in the darkness, trying to keep the print from getting wet from drizzle beneath my crappy umbrella. I walked the entire street to find him but he was gone and most of the street shops were closed up now.

I gave up and wandered back up the main drag looking for some dinner. Off to my left in a spot out of the rain, I spotted the old man with his huge bundle about to walk into the rain. I jumped a puddle on the way over and stopped him. His present made him smile and laugh, grabbing my hand and shaking it intensely. He said "Mañana." I gave him a pat on the back and headed back into the rain.

A few lonely tourists and local vendors heading home were about the only ones out as I found a pizza place, chosen for it's seating and view of the dark street. Across were a few eating joints, empty save a person or two in each. My small pizza came hot and as I waited for it to cool, I watched as a three-legged dog came up the street. I wondered how he fared amongst the dog culture here I'd observed in my walks. He hopped along, looking at each restaurant and then going inside. After the fourth, he paused in the sprinkling rain across the street and looked me directly in the eye. In a few short hops he was up the steps and introduced himself, then laid down by the table. It wasn't long before a few bites of pizza came his way. A reward for his good manners.

I'd avoided all the tricks of the street vendors only to be sucked in by a three legged dog!

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