Thursday, September 19, 2013

House Hunting By Day, Beer Tasting By Night

So far so good, it's nearing the end of our first week at post and we feel like we're gonna love living here for the next 2 years. Hubby went to work all week and came home with lots of grins and stories he couldn't tell me and I went house hunting and spent HOURS on the phone trying to get our mailing address changed with all the call centers we do business with back in the states.

Some companies I called changed our address nice and easy, other companies required answers to secret questions or wouldn't even take an address change over the phone so I had to figure out how to do it online... and don't even get me started on the confusion over our new "DPO AA" city and state part of our mailing address. But that's mostly done now. On to the fun stuff: house hunting!!!

I LOVE looking at other people's houses. And the last few days have felt like an "International House Hunters" marathon. After seeing 10 apartment buildings I think I have it narrowed down to my top 3 choices and we'll take Hubster to see them next week and hopefully make a decision. I'm working with a realtor here who drives me around in her little car with tinted windows and shows me the units in a very nice non-sales-person kind of way. No pressure, no schmoozey "this is the nicest apartment in the city" spiel. But seriously, these are some REALLY nice apartments and the breakfast discussion every morning always starts with apartment talk:
"Have you seen the infinity pool at Tadeus?"
"Oh yeah, it's incredible, then I saw the huge gym with floor-to-ceiling windows at Casa Margaritas"
"We were all set to move into a 4-bedroom at Margaritas, but then we remembered we had kids and had to reconsider because we liked the green space and the play area at Tadeus and it had bigger maid's quarters, it's really a better spot for families"
"And will the landlord do the security upgrades?"
"He said he would, but we're still waiting for the embassy to measure the apartment to make sure it's not too big for us"
"I loved the big balcony at Marques del Valle, we saw one there that had a view all the way out to Lake Amatitlan"
and on and on and on, but we all love it...

In the meantime, here's the view out our hotel room window where we're staying until we can move into our permanent place. It's great! Lots of action right out the window. Tuesday-Saturday we have the discoteca across the street blasting a wide variety of latino remixes, 80s hair metal and cheesy 90s music from the US (it's been a while since I've heard Achey Breaky Heart...). We haven't been brave enough yet to go join the party, but perhaps soon after we baby-step our way out into the neighborhood, trying not to get mugged...

As you can see, we have palms and pine trees growing right next to each other here. Not a lot of interesting wildlife in the city, but a few pretty hummingbirds and butterflies.

And here's a little still life I like to call "Thursday Night Cookin' in Guatemala".
We sampled a local cerveza called Cabro Extra which means Goat and I don't know what the Extra means because it's extra light. The other local beer is called Gallo which means rooster and they're both like cheap Budweiser: drinkable when ice cold with lots of lime. Also for dinner are some tamales I bought at a tiny tamale shop around the corner named "Gourmet", I paid 15 Qs for both of them which is about $2. They're tamales de chipilin, a local green herb that's green like spinach and tastes like a cross between basil, epazote and chard. Interestingly enough, it's considered an invasive species in the US and is banned in Australia.

Our little kitchen... pretty cozy and feels just like home with the Bend NPR station streaming through the wifi.

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