Thursday, February 04, 2016

Restaurants are different

10:30am - I am at The Bagel Barn for breakfast again. I had breakfast here yesterday. Something about this place that I like enough to eat here twice. The WiFi here is pretty fast, and I like that a lot.

I've noticed that restaurants are different here in Guatemala compared to the USA.Take coffee, for example. In the USA, coffee is sold with refills. So, you pay maybe $2.50US for coffee and receive all the refills you desire.

In Guatemala, you pay for what you want. Coffee is priced by the size of the cup. Here at The Bagel Barn:
  •  8 oz coffee is 10 Quetzals [$1.30US] 
  • 12 oz 12Q [$1.56US] 
  • 16 oz 14Q [$1.82US].
There is another thing different about Guatemala restaurants. The bill for the food is never presented here unless asked for. Same thing in Mexico. It is considered rude to present a bill before asked. Because that would be like asking you to pay up and get out!

Actually, in the USA presenting the bill while a patron is still eating is often accompanied with: "I'm just giving you your check. Take your time eating." To me this indicates that in the USA it is also rude to present a bill in this way. But it is done anyway.

Maybe being polite in Guatemala is a higher priority value compared to the USA?

Hobo Traveler
Andy Graham, the famous Hobo Traveler is staying is staying at the same hotel where I am staying! You may know that Andy generously shares his many years of traveling info thru his website.

During 2012, I first travelled to Guatemala. I used Andy's info to find the hotel that I stayed at in Panajachel. In the pic below is Phil [L] and Andy [R]. Phil is a member of

Phil and Andy

Below is the video of Andy's that I watched in order to find my hotel in 2012.

1pm - Only the beginning of the afternoon, and I am really sleepy. Don't know why? I slept really good last nite.

I've returned to my hotel room. Made my up bed. And took a pic of me sitting on the bed. Yes, this is my entire room!

Now for my nap.

Room #14, Hostel La Quinta 
Antigua, Guatemala 

Mini-bus to Panajachel
4pm - Inside the entrance to Hostel La Quinta is a tiny travel agency. I went down there after my nap was finished.

This Saturday I want to travel to the Town of Panajachel on the shore of Lake Atitl├ín. The most reasonable way to do the trip is via mini-bus.

My reservation is for 8am this coming Saturday. Cost: 80Q [$10.40US]

El Cazador Italiano
7:30pm - I spent a very enjoyable afternoon talking with Andy Graham [].

The two of us have somewhat similar philosophies about living. Andy is far more sophisticated and knowledgeable about traveling. I am honored that Andy spent so much time with me today!

Andy and Phil have dinner plans together. And I wanted to eat Italian food at El Cazador. I ate supper at El Cazador last nite. And here I am again!

I told my waitress to bring me a bottle of coke with ice. And that I would order my supper in about 1/2 hour. During that 1/2 hour, I will publish this post to you!

Yesterday I ordered Linguine ala Carbonara. It came out great!

This evening I am leaning toward "Ravioli Valtellina." I want to order mine with meat sauce. Yummm!

Ravioli with four cheeses topped with meat sauce




  1. What I absolutely hate in the U.S. and think is the height of rudeness, is to take away the plate of someone who is finished eating but the rest of his group is still working on it. When they come to take my plate away I always have a bit of food there and tell them I'm not finished, even if I am.

  2. There is different values everywhere. In my restaurant in Canada when people were done eating we would take their plates away and ask if they would like desert, at that point they would usually ask for the check.

  3. It is extraordinarily rude to present the check before one is finished eating, just as it is to ask if you will be needing change when you pay. Both behaviors will be reflected negatively in whatever tip I leave.

  4. BTW, George - am enjoying this immensely...just like the old days!

    1. Hi Pete,

      I am enjoying doing daily blogging again. And really enjoying tripping to Guatemala.

      I am wondering which is better? A nap in my apartment back in La Mesa, California? Or a nap in Hostel La Quinta, Antigua, Guatemala?



  5. I am enjoying HOW you are doing that daily blogging. I can check up on you several times during the day. That is something unique to you, George. Quite a few bloggers blog once a day. But you check in as the day goes by, Makes it fun for me to keep up with you.

    1. Hi Rose,

      If you find it enjoyable to read my daily blog split up into segments as I go thru my day, you may be able to understand how enjoyable it is for me living it! :)