Thursday, December 12, 2019

Belated Photos of our Xela Xopping Trip

We went to Xela (pronounced Shay-Lah) for Xopping (shopping -- get it??) on the last weekend of December and hit up some big fancy malls for Black Friday sales. It was a lot of fun and exhausting at the same time! One of my friends said, "Well, I've had enough of consumerism for a while." 😆

As usual, we rented a private minivan and driver thru my friend, Gustavo. The van seats 12 and we had 8 people with room for all our packages -- although we really tried to fill all that room up!!

Our first stop was Interplaza Mall. It was super fancy! It's always a bit of a shock to go from rural Panajachel to Xela, which is so much more of a big city with all the amenities of home. The streets are a bit dirtier and of course everyone is Guatemalan, but being in a shiny mall feels kinda like Canada.

Me in the Barbie photo booth. So hilarious!

I went up to the second floor to take pics looking down at my friends in the Barbie booth. :D
The bunch of us were like gawking kids in a candy store. It was fun! You would have thunk we'd never been to a mall before. 😃

Bert beelined it to Wendy's! It had been four and a half years since he's had good fast food.

There was an outdoor balcony at the food court. You can see the "perky" volcano and the Dollar City.
The Dollar City is everyone's favorite stop and we shopped HARD. Cheryl won the prize for biggest cart with Elle a close second! The "boys" graciously offered to help the ladies carry their packages.

Bert helping Cheryl carry her bags.
After Dollar City, we went to Cemaco, which is kinda like a HomeSense or HomeGoods plus they also have tools and gardening and flooring and paint and everything basically. Well, no clothes actually, which is nice. If I was richer, I'd buy so much stuff at Cemaco!

Look at all the Christmas stuff!
A rare selfie! Me in the big toy store called Juguetón in the MyLittlePony section!
Going into the Juguetón toy store was super crazy. It was a HUGE store and there were kids running everywhere, even at 10am. I went in specifically to find Guatemalan UNO cards, but it took me a bit to find them...and then of course they were right at the checkout counter when I left. Duh. Should have checked there first!
It was very festive in the toy store but also strange because it was so clean and seemed expensive. It's hard to reconcile this big white heaven of toys to the poor kids living on my street who share one half-deflated ball. Every now and then, I buy my neighbour kids some bubbles and they laugh with delight! I wish I could afford to buy them more toys or ice cream or something. I really have no clue what toys kids want these days though. Good news though -- Juguetón does a toy drive for kids every year at Christmas. Yay! 

One other strange thing -- all the Barbies were white. Huh? Why weren't there Latina Barbies?

Holy Christmas Tree, Batman! (And Bert to the side there.)
After Cemaco, it was off to our "usual" mall, the Pradera, where there is a Walmart. We stopped and got MORE food -- cuz we're gluttons like that -- and then I hit up Walmart while others went around to the Megapaca for second-hand clothes and stuff, and others wandered the mall to browse the shops. Pradera mall is super nice and has more reasonably-priced stores than Interplaza, the first mall. By the time we got there, it was just past noon on a Saturday so it was PACKED. It really felt like Christmas shopping! I had to wait for almost 30 minutes to use the washroom. Ugh.

Everyone was all shopped out by late afternoon so we hopped back in our minivan and headed home. The ride home is always a lot quieter than the ride there! We made it back to Panajachel in time for Cheryl to catch a boat back to her home across the lake in San Pedro. Her husband didn't even chastise her about all her purchases! 😆

Some of my Dollar City haul.
For those who are interested in the prices of things in comparison to home, below is a chart of the stuff in the picture above and the approximate equivalent in Canadian and American dollars. The Dollar City stuff is identical to the stuff back home. Sometimes they even have Dollarama price stickers on them still.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season and remembering that it's not all about buying gifts. Sure, I love presents as much as the next person, but I love more that I have a wonderful family and great friends! ☮️

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