Guate City

Trip Start Apr 24, 2009
Trip End Apr 30, 2009

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Flag of Guatemala  ,
Saturday, April 25, 2009

Our arrival in Guatemala City from LA, via Dallas, was uneventful, until we reached Customs. Walking up, we were approached by a surgical mask-wearing official, who was handing out forms. Not a very promising start.
He insisted that everyone fill one in, which was a problem because he ran out after giving Amy hers but before I got mine. We had no idea what was going on, and all he could tell us was that the order to have this done was just given 10 minutes before. It seems that we were the first planeload to land after the swine flu scare started. They never did get any more forms (which asked you to check off a bunch of flu symptoms), so after a bit of waiting, I just wandered into the imigration line and proceeded through.

The Westin is a nice hotel, much more American than any place I've stayed out of the country. Which is to say it isn't much of a cultural experience. But as an overnight layover it works well. And instead of walking a couple blocks at night from the airport through a sketchy neighborhood to a flea-bag hotel, we were picked up by a driver and taken to the hotel. That works.
We went to dinner at Kakao, a couple blocks away. We liked the layout - an enormous conical wood pole thatch covered structure with a couple dozen tables inside and another dozen around the perimeter, but still under the thatch roof. Traditional foods done upscale, attentive and friendly service. Highly recommended. At the end of the meal a wizened old man approached us with an armfull of huipils, the traditional women's over garment, and Amy bought one for our dining table cover.  Then I made her put it on for the walk back to the hotel. The dazed look is the result of a bit too much refreshment at dinner.
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