Rooster, More Rooster!

Both the slogan of the most popular beer in Guatemala (Gallo, mas Gallo!) and an apt description of any given night between 4 and 7 am. And while I’m specifically referring to the annoyingly energetic rooster that resides seemingly about 3 feet outside our window, I could easily be referring to just about anywhere in the greater Lago de Atitlán area. On the bright side, he is consistent, dependable and has a fairly pleasant crowing voice in the scheme of middle of the night rooster screeching. Last year’s rooster was, for all his intensity and commendable effort, basically pretty shit at crowing. It made being woken up in the middle of the night by pointless bird noises even more irritating than usual, which is saying something because, I assure you, it is pretty irritating at the best of times. But there is nothing worse than waking up to the shrill shriek of an unnecessarily enthusiastic rooster and listening to it warble through several different octaves before abruptly cutting off with a strangled croak like someone had just had enough and jammed a beak-sized fist down its throat. Except suffering through it trying, trying again. Now, with this year’s rooster having such a superior, rhythmic, melodious, almost pleasant, sound, we have to assume one of two things took place over the 9 months we were away – an eventual acceptance of failure leading to a dramatic beheading and some uncomfortable time in a pot of boiling water followed by a replacement rooster, or some wildly successful crowing lessons. Regardless, all things rooster-related are much improved this time around, although as always, nothing improves the sound of a rooster at 4 am like a good pair of ear plugs.

Honeymoon Hell

Without ever having actually met the honeymooning couple who spent a few nights in the apartment above us last week, surprisingly we are still able to provide a fairly thorough description of how their stay went thanks to a number of sources, admittedly varying greatly in both dependability and detail. Hearsay regarding their plans and activities from a San Pedro bar, brief sightings from our window (both with and without the use of our special Creep Kit binoculars), late night encounters experienced by another of our neighbours further up the hill, and a variety of confusing and eminently mistakable sounds filtering through our normally pretty effective cement ceiling. Taking all of that into account, this is what we surmise their Guatemalan honeymoon included:

  • A fair bit of day time drinking, eating and, potentially, missing the last boat of the day.
  • A busy schedule of village-hopping, refusing to let any pesky hangovers get in the way of a vast helping of Mayan culture.
  • Extreme difficulty navigating large hills in the dark while inebriated past the point of speaking in moderate voices.
  • Early morning boat trips forcing themselves to enjoy all the lake has to offer, come hell or high water, particularly the kind of high water that causes troublesomely large waves that lead to embarrassing stumbles when exiting dangerously rocking lanchas.
  • Several hours (not minutes – hours) of what at first sounded like unappealingly combative and aggressive sex, but what we eventually decided was actually several hours of unappealingly combative and aggressive projectile vomiting, albeit with the unpleasantness somewhat mitigated by the constant and theoretically soothing encouragement of her ever-supportive new husband. 90% sure it was the vomiting thing, anyway.

Hey, it may not be 7 days of sun and mojitos in Cabo but the stories, well, those are the precious souvenirs that will last a lifetime.