Friday, January 23, 2015

Found An Apartment for April 1

OMG so excited!  :D

After all the forums telling me that it would be near impossible to find a place to live April 1 because of Semana Santa, I decided to take a chance and posted on a Facebook group asking for an apartment.
Lo and behold, I found a lovely woman I'll call P. who had a perfect apartment for us!
It's a bit more money than I was really expecting to pay, but it does include Internet and utilities, so I think that makes up for it. I was originally budgeting for $300 a month but expected that to be non-inclusive of propane, etc. This apartment is $375 and comes with all the lovely gringo stuff, like a fridge and stove and big bed.
It's a little bit outside of Pana, along the road to Santa Catarina. I worried about that but Phyllis assured me that it's a lovely downhill walk to town, and a cheap tuk-tuk ride back. She also told me they have a full-time "guardian" on the property who will pick up your groceries for you for a small fee. Ooh-la-la fancy!

There were a few fascinating and revealing tidbits in our conversation about the apartment that she offered seemingly without being aware that they were unusual statements.
1. "Downhill walk." I guess in Guatemala, walking is never done on the flat!
2. "No church bells." Um, didn't realize that would be a problem, but I guess it's a "feature"!
3. "We prefer non-tobacco smokers." Interesting how she specified tobacco.

I was going to post the pics that she sent me of the apartment but I figure it will be more interesting to post my own pictures when I get there!
Instead, here is the approximate location of the apartment. See the little gold star?  :D
Where I'm moving to! Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.

Monday, January 19, 2015

More Postponements

I realize that the throngs of people reading my blog (*snicker*) are probably here to read about my adventures in Guatemala and these "before" posts are pretty much boring, but I feel the need to blog about things that are happening related to my trip because I'm still so freaking excited to be going! Even if it's getting further away instead of closer.

So here's the latest news. I was preparing to book my flight from Toronto to Guatemala City for Tuesday, March 31, 2015. And then I had a niggling thought: When is Easter? Semana Santa is HUGE in Guatemala and I'd been warned about trying to find accommodation during that week.
Well, bend me over and call me a burro, but wasn't Holy Week starting that exact freaking day. ARGH!

A traveler's photos of Semana Santa in Panajachel
I went to the Expat Exchange forums and asked the question. Sure enough, the friendly folks there came back with advice to postpone my flight. *sigh* I talked to Bert and we hummed and hawed about possibly going a week early rather than later, but that didn't seem to work either. That means it'll be April before we get to go. Totally pouting as I type this!

Here is a picture of my current view from my desk in Canada. I want to take a picture in Pana when I'm all set up to show the difference!
View from my desk in Canada
We've had a  few days of mild weather so there's not actually that much snow out there. Across the street is a parking lot for a auto parts store, and then you can see the nice old brick houses that are in my neighborhood. In fact, my apartment is in a renovated house much like that one in the pic, except quite a bit larger. It's quite lovely to look at on the outside, but the landlady is a grouch and never does anything to keep the place looking nice.
When looking for apartments in Guat, it seems a lot of them list the total square meters so I measured my place. It's about 33 m2, without the bathroom. Pretty small, eh? I don't think I'll be too phased by the small places in Pana. I've always loved cozy spaces and never felt the need for a spacious home. Too much cleaning! I like to walk 6 steps to get from my bed to the bathroom, and 7 steps from my desk to the kitchen. :D
(Yes, I did actually just get up to count the steps! Willow got excited cuz I went in the kitchen.)

All right, I'd better go find some work to do. Today is a slow day so I usually pick up smaller jobs to make a few bucks. Business will be picking up a LOT this week and next until later in February with all the year-end conference calls. Yay, money!
Hasta luego!