This is part of a true story written by Marina Villatoro who writes the travel blog Travel Experta about everything you need to know about Central America. Every Friday over the next two months I’ll be posting another chapter of this adventure. Catch up with Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, and Part 11 in case you missed them.
The Meek Hotel Owner
Despite the Unicornia Hotel owner’s compliant nature she was a sweet, pretty, small-sized woman. Her choice of men hit me like a bomb! We found her husband drinking rum with another prize possession of the Western civilization. The spouse slurred his name to me: “Rainbow Rob. I don’t respond to rainbow no Rob, only Rainbow Rob.”
His mate was too obliterated to exchange greetings.
Rainbow Rob was an aging hippie some where between fifty or sixty years old. His hair was oily, limp and long, covered with a faded Rasta cap. Too many years of chemical abuse and smoking gave his face a dirtied ashtray tone, with huge 80’s style motorcycle sunglasses concealing the eyes. His mouth did three distinct actions: guzzle rum, slobber all over his wife, and chomp on dirty fingernails with black stumps, a.k.a. teeth.
The clothes. How can I describe something that was just so wrong? Over his puny frame drooped a magenta colored T-shirt with stains almost as old as him. Red, white and blue trousers flared out like old director pants that came to an abrupt end mid-calf and were almost met with tattered cowboy boots.
This was my link to salvation!
Salvation, Not Quite
In a feathery quiver, his wife rehashed my scenario. Tilted back against the door his initial response was: “It all rite, please calm down, shhhhh… relax… breeeeeeeath… relax…give hug.”
Mind you, none of this was said to me. All his useless attention was directed at his wife, who couldn’t have cared either way. I was dumbfounded. After another three hugs and a few slobbering kisses, he turned his short, scrawny body to me and rambled off the same shit.
With a phony rainforest-gurgling-waterfall-tone he said, “Everything will be aright…calm down… shhh…everything happens for a reason. We’ll put our heads together and fix it…shhhh…it aright…”
If he told me to hug him, those would have been his last words. I wanted to run and never look back. Instead, I felt like the beautiful parrot perched on a branch inside the small cage at the other end of the kitchen. We both had one thing in common, our wings were clipped and we had nowhere to fly.
“Would you like to go to the police…shhhhhh…everything will be aright…”
I hated this man. So much!
“YES!!! I think that would be a good idea. What do you think?”
Once again I was ignored as he sneaked a few more hugs and kisses to his wife. Every time she started to talk on my behalf he put his slimy, dry hand over her mouth, shhhh’ed her and picked up his glass full of rum.
“You really shouldn’t get so upset…” once again aware of my presence, “Everything happens for a reason. You’ll see there a good reason for …” he took a large swig, burped and continued coddling his wife.
Still No Police
“Look… Can you just tell me where to go? I really don’t have time for this bullshit. Quite frankly I’m pissed, tired, and practically naked!!! I need to get to the police station right now,” I screamed. “I didn’t come here to watch you get drunk and molest your wife.”
I redirected my anger at her. “Why did you bring me here?” I cried, “Can you show me where to go? I need help. I have been burglarized of every-fucking-thing I owe, all my money and my documents included. I don’t even have a toothbrush or a clean set of underwear. WHERE DO I GO???”
“Shhh…ok, vamos… but first let me finish my drink.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. If looks could kill at that moment I used every ounce of energy I had left and glared at him. He must have felt something, because he changed his mind and said goodbye to his comatose buddy.
En route, snails moved faster than us. All the while his grating words of wisdom pierced through me like a dental drill working on a tooth without Novocain. If he wasn’t recycling spiritual mumbo-jumbo, he was telling me the story of his pathetic life as a street performer. Who cares?
I have to admit, I would’ve never found the police station on my own. It was situated atop of a hill which was concealed by another hill. This two-story insipid, cube-shaped building was in complete disrepair. It joined the ranks of derelict governmental funds along with the education department. Sandwiched between chipped walls and rusted medal beams were huge holes for the awaited windows. The floor was a mosaic of broken tiles, clay fillings and holes. I was surprised to see a generator supplying light and televised entertainment. Two middle-aged indigenous officers dressed in black pants and red shirts rocked back and forth in medal chairs mesmerized by a game-show.
“Un momento, espera,” one of them said without a glance in our direction, and didn’t budge until a commercial break.
Rainbow Rob In Control
Before we entered, the buffoon (Rainbow Rob) told me he would take care of everything.
“It important to remain calm and be extremely cordial with them. Or else.”
Or else what??? Everything I owned laid somewhere in this town, arranged to be sold on the black market and he was lecturing me on diplomacy?
Deep inhale, deep exhale, crack of the neck to the right, to the left…(oh for god sake!)… He finally began, “Como esta? Como es su noche?” He slowly unraveled my story. During his performance he seemed to switch careers from street clown to writer, because he took full literally license and created a version suited for his taste. He invented characters while portraying his role as the gallantry knight in shining armor. This did not help my cause in the slightest. I was livid!
My Spanish might have been incoherent but during desperate moments adrenaline works miracles. I managed to relay more or less my situation reiterating my strong belief that Chico was the culprit. I reasoned with them to knock on his door—not to accuse, but to ask, politely, if he heard or saw anything. I thought I got my message across because I was told to wait (once again!) for other cops who would accompany me back to the crime scene.
If there was any hope of ever finding my stuff, it was now a mere pipe dream. As the clock ticked off the minutes I told the diplomat and his wife to take a hike—tactfully. Rung my hands nervously and paced back and forth like a caged animal ready to pounce.
One-and-a-half hours later, the new patrolmen and I crept back to the starting point. We passed Chico’s house without a blink of an eye.
“Excuse, but you told me we would ask him if he heard anything?”
They cut me off and said it was against Guatemalan law. What law? This was the most corrupt country in all of Central America! A couple of bucks can buy your freedom for any crime…
Marina has been living in Central America for over 7 years and her site Travel Experta is all about traveling in Central America. Marina loves to help people plan the perfect vacation to this amazing part of the world! You can sign up for her RSS feed and join the fun on her facebook fan page and follow her on Twitter at @MarinaVillatoro.