April 1st – a day late

I showed this to David and Derek and they said I HAD to blog it, so I fired up the scanner and tried to overcome some underexposure in Photoshop.

(Los clicquos et los Gigantificos)

It’s a pillbox guarding a Military base in Guatemala outside Lake Atitlán (where I was about to become violently ill from bad food), taken in 1988 semi-discreetly from a bus as we passed by.
Simultaneously on the bus was some covert anti-Governmental rebel type spreading small tissue-paper leaflets on the wind that blew out the open windows of the old school-bus. In the helmet’s slot were a couple M1919 .30 caliber air-cooled machineguns.
They were similar to ones we saw a few days prior, at a main junction in the road that went up to the famous and colorful Mayan-highland market-town of Chichicastenengo (where I had my pocket picked).
Where the road forked off to the town of Quetzaltenango, in the middle of the road piled up on a small roundabout was a bunch of sandbags and behind them sat another couple of M1919 machineguns pointed towards Quetzaltenango. The road was blocked to traffic since that’s where guerrilla and government troops were fighting and dying in fairly intense ways and numbers.
We had intended to go to Cozumel and the Yucatan, but our plans got derailed by the massive hurricane Gilbert that smashed the region, so we switched to a former area of study – and apparently a war-zone.
Other stories abound – like the blond Guatemalan Army pilots in the hotel at Flores with German surnames, and the Generals at the restaurant who drove up and got fed first (absolutely, go right ahead, no problem) – But Tilkal was the highlight and earliest part of the trip, and just freakin’ incredible.
It was a good thing we had Tikal early on our itinerary too, because violent amoebic dysentery from bad food plagued us the rest of the time and made it less than optimal and enjoyable, besides some other “social” encounters on our return to Guatemala City…

About NotClauswitz

The semi-sprawling adventures of a culturally hegemonic former flat-lander and anti-idiotarian individualist, fleeing the toxic cultural smug emitted by self-satisfied lotus-eating low-land Tesla-driving floppy-hat wearing lizadroid-Leftbat Califorganic eco-tofuistas ~

6 thoughts on “April 1st – a day late

  1. Laces! Yes, indeed – perhaps even made of <>steel!<>Since Spaceballs came out only a year earlier in ’87, probably too soon for that specific zeitgeist to infiltrate the Guatemalan Army. 😉 Hell I couldn’t even get the marimba band at the hotel to play America’s Best Loved Music: The Ballad of Giligan’s Island (in an effort to piss-off the obnoxious German tourists), and I thought THAT was internationally known! Harumph!


  2. I woulda been more impressed if they had based it on Dark Helmet from Spaceballs. I’m gonna make a note of that: when I build my compound, my corner pill boxes will look like Dark Helmet and the Imperial forces.


  3. I was able to lighten it a bit further and posted the results and RNS. The freakin’ boots even have laces!!On our way to Boomershoot on highway 5 we’ll be passing a small children’s play resort I frequented when very young, called The Enchanted Forest. It has a life-size version of the shoe from Mother Goose’s Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe. Even that doesn’t have laces like these!http://www.enchantedforest.com/attractions/storybook_lane.html


  4. Fortunatley we had the sickness in staggered formation; first me in Atitlan which was a nothing-to-do-but-rest spot, and later my wife in Antigua, so unfortunately she missed seeing all the magnificent ruins of the Old City that was destroyed in the 1776 Earthquake.


  5. I was there in the early ’90s with the Guard; always enjoyed watching the Guat soldiers escorting us walk about using their Galil’s flash hiders as a convenient place to hook a finger for comfort.As for the dysentary; three days in Guatemala City alternating between the bathroom and being curled up in a ball on the bed trying to ignore the sensation of being rapidly stabbed in the gut with steak knives……..Good times.


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