Back in Antigua, Guatemala

It’s been one year, since I’ve left Antigua last December. My first review after my return – it has changed a lot to the positive. Clearly I could recognize, it has become much cleaner and also seems a bit safer. The government of the city brought up many new rules, which make living in Antigua more comfortable and attractive. They set up new laws like only horn signals in case of an emergency situation for all cars including the Chicken-busses. They also shut down all the alcohol selling places and set the closing time for restaurants to 1 o’clock in the morning. In case you want to sell alcohol in your restaurant or bar, you will need to get a new license, for which you have to fulfil some new rules like at least two CCTV cameras in your store. In my eyes that’s a bit extreme, as I’ve already been at many places including my home town, where alcohol laws aren’t as strict and still we don’t have big problems due to alcohol. Combined with the fact, that very strict alcohol laws in the USA still couldn’t solve violence problems, I think there are better ways to go. I’ve been talking with my friend Luis who owns a small restaurant in Antigua. Their main business wasn’t selling alcohol, still they are going to lose a part of their sales due to the new law. On the other hand the electronic industry, especially for CCTV cameras, will profit a lot. ;-)
I’ve been told that they are going to set up big CCTV cameras on all couple of corners to keep a better eye on the city. From my trip to Liverpool, Great Britain I know that the extra CCTV cameras do not bring any more safety into the city and I’ve read, that statistics show they don’t even help by reconnoitre crime. How ever it’s good to see progress in this city! =)

My first day in Antigua has been very relaxed. My girlfriend and I were sleeping long into the day. Later on my girlfriend had to organize some stuff and I used the situation to visit my friend Luis in his restaurant. After lunch with my girlfriend at Pollo Campero we started the project “let’s buy shoes for Sebastian”. I’ve decided to use the opportunity to buy very nice leather shoes in Guatemala as shoes in Europa are usually very expensive. My plan was to buy 3 or 4 pairs of shoes, which will be produced to fit exactly on my “Donald Duck” feet. Well, to be honest I’ve expected the process of buying shoes in Guatemala to be a little bit different. Like everything in Central America buying shoes happened very relaxed – “very relaxed” ;-)
It took us pretty much two hours to order the shoes, including very interesting conversations, many jokes and many short breaks, as the shoe store also sells lottery tickets. Every 10 minutes some people stopped by the shop, we’ve done a short break and the chief of the store looked up in a special news paper, if that person has won some money.
We even got such far with our conversations to find out, that the chief of the shoe store is the father of the doctor, who helped me last time I’ve been sick in Antigua. He is already producing shoes since 50 years and if he does his job as good as his son, I’m looking forward a lot to the final result.
After 2 hours I’ve ended up ordering 6 pairs of shoes.
Because of possible problems running through costume control in Europa , I decided to not take real crocodile leather for only € 5,- extra. Even they for sure wouldn’t kill the crocodiles only for my shoes. ;-)
Later on we went a bit shopping in Antigua and enjoyed dinner at home.


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