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Shirtless, Shoeless, and Penniless

The day started out like any other…I woke up around eight and fifteen minutes later rolled over and hopped out of bed, threw on my shorts, and went to brush my teeth. Standing on the terrace looking out at the volcanoes towering over Lake Atitlán as I brush my teeth I stop to take it all in and appreciate the moment. It’s quite windy today but there are no clouds and the view is stunning. The sun is beating down on me as I lackadaisically move the brush over my canines and back to my molars. My mind wanders and I start to think about how I will spend this beautiful day.


View from our porch in Panajachel. In the background you can see two of the volcanoes.

View from our porch in Panajachel. In the background you can see two of the volcanoes.


The next thing I know WHAM the door to my bedroom slams shut! I didn’t think much of it at the moment but then I start to realize that my keys are in the bedroom. They door locks on its own. Now you’re thinking “Whats the big deal your locked out of your bedroom”. There are three keys on my make shift key chain. One, which you already know is to my bedroom. The other is to the front gate and well the third that is to the living room/kitchen. So now I can use either my bathroom, the terrace, or the front yard. What to do what to do. I jiggle the handle hoping by some miracle the door will pop open. Well as I’m sure you can guess it did not.

Why not just go wake up my Austrian roommates you ask? Well… Our relationship has not moved much past hostel mates, in fact I don’t think it ever went that far. Every conversation is awkward and mid sentence they will start speaking german to each other. Now I’m not offended that they are speaking their native tongue but when your living with someone and all sitting in the same room having a chat it seems a little rude to break off into german. So there I am stuck outside penniless, shirtless, and shoeless not wanting to wake my young, european, stoner roomies.

Lounging in the hammock mulling over my options I’m becoming more and more restless by the minute. Being my last day in the house, I’m surprised that I didn’t lock myself out sooner. I can’t wait any longer, I want coffee. Now I’m looking for things to pick the lock with or something to wedge in and pop open the door. Inside the little bodega in the front yard amidst empty beer bottles, garden hoses and other various items I find a machete. As I pick it up I’m thinking to my self Yea the point on that looks small enough to fit inside the door. You guessed it, of course it didn’t work!

I’m getting a little perturbed at this point so finally I come to the conclusion there is only one thing to do. I’ve got to go find Kate in town. We were sharing a room and each had our own set of keys. She doesn’t have class today so I figure there are only a few places she will be. Either Cafe Moka (the coffee shop down by the water), The Patio (a delicious breakfast place on the main drag), or Cafe Loco (the best coffee in Panajachel). So there I am in nothing but my shorts deciding on the best way to get into town shirtless. I notice my roommates left a pair of shoes outside, I take a quick glance around to see if anyone has woken up yet. Sure enough no one is up. I snag the shoes, slam my feet in, and off I go.

Our house was on the outskirts of town so I walk out of the neighborhood and into the street. Now this is the last Saturday of Semana Santa (Holy Week) so as I walk down the street I am getting more stares than usual. Not your average “look at the gringo stare” more the kind of stare that says Man I wonder what that guy did last night. I stroll down the street, over the bridge and into the main part of town. There are more people now and the shifting eyes are growing exponentially. I decide I’ll go to Cafe Loco first since it is at the top of the main drag and the other two places are closer to the water.

Well I made it to Cafe Loco unscathed, that is except for the humiliation of looking like the most out-of-place gringo in Central America. I step into the coffee shop only for Kate to burst into laughter! I explain my situation and how I ended up there shirtless. I drink half of her coffee and order an iced latte to go. Leaving the cafe I decide I will get a tuk tuk back to the house. Easier said than done. I make it to the crossroads and start to look for a ride. Of course being Semana Santa there are none available! I figure I will walk until I can find one. I am crossing the bridge on my way back before I spot an open tuk tuk, but by now I’m so close to home it’s not worth the five quetzal. I swallow my pride and keep on trucking. I make it back to the house and of course everyone is still asleep. I put the shoes back exactly where I found them and head up stairs. Unlock the door and now two hours later I’m right back where it all started…What shirt should I wear today?

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