Saturday, November 3, 2007

Long Trip to Xela

We decided to go to Xela, Guatemala to investigate a Spanish school. I'm very interested in this school because they claim to use a method similar to my Listen & Answer Lessons. So, I want to try this school for two weeks and see how they teach Spanish.

We flew out of San Francisco after midnight, at 1:30am. It was a miserable flight. I couldn't sleep, even though I was very tired. My legs hurt and I was crammed into a little seat for over 5 hours. I was reminded, again, how much I hate overnight flights and buses. I've made too many of these miserable trips in my life and really dread them now.

After a grueling night, we arrived in Guatemala City. At first I wanted to immediately get a hotel. But I got a second wind and so we took a taxi to the bus station. I paid too much for the taxi. I always do this when I'm really tired after a long trip-- I get ripped off by taxis and hotels.

The bus ride was over 4 hours and my legs hurt even more. My lower legs swelled and still I couldn't sleep. The bus wound around curves, up and down mountains-- I was constantly jerked left and right in my seat.. my head bouncing with the curves.

We finally made it to Xela, Guatemala (official name of the town is Quetzaltenango). My legs were killing me and my neck hurt too. At the bus stop we got another taxi into the center of town.. and I paid too much again. I was too tired to argue.

The center of town was almost totally empty-- no cars, no people. It was weird. Xela (Quetzaltenango) is supposed to be the second largest city in Guatemala, but it felt like a ghost town.

Using a guidebook map, we walked around and finally found a guesthouse. Luckily it was a very nice place-- a small building with a courtyard. The room was nice and they had a good restaurant too.

Totally exhausted and sore, I finally went to bed. I slept over 12 hours.

The next day in Xela I woke up feeling much better after sleeping over 12 hours. Had breakfast at the guesthouse.... then went outside to look at the town. If was much more active. There were people and cars! It turns out that we arrived on the Day of the Dead-- a national holiday-- which is why the town was empty. Xela is still a quiet town, but not a ghost town after all! We went around the Parque Central, and shot some video.

In general, I think this will be a nice place to relax and focus on studying both Spanish and teaching methods.

Listen To This Article at:
The Effortless English Podcast.

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