I was enjoying our meal in a popular open-air restaurant around the main tourist drag in Panajachel, Guatemala, when some tourists about our age walked slowly by. Billy says "Hey, the food's great here, why not give it a try?"
The man looked interested, the girl looked horrified.
I chimed in with "Order the Amuerzo Economico and you'll pay half the marked menu prices."
The man took two seconds to decide on this great deal, making a proceed to sit at a table next to ours.
"We're likely to eat here?" The wife questioned.
Clearly she held potential to deal with entering this clean, brightly decorated eating establishment.
I'm suggesting it had been no dump. There is a set screen TV on your wall and lively Salsa music around the stereo system. Clean handwoven Guatemalan tablecloths covered every table which also supported flowers. Original indigenous artwork adorned the walls.
The girl, who was noticeably beautiful and well-kept, had her hesitation distinctly written throughout her scrunched up face.
"I hope they speak English here," she said by having an audible sigh as she flopped down.
"I desire a Coke. Do you have Coke? What do you need to drink here?" She demanded in rapid-fire English. The bilingual waiter maintained together with her rush of questions pretty much.
"You have chicken or pork? I'll go ahead and take pork. Honey, they have chicken or pork."
Meanwhile, the husband and Billy were chatting away about retirement, finance and travel, having a grand ol' time.
The drama darkens
Bottles of Coke and empty glasses promptly arrived at the table and again, this poor woman looked stricken. Simply appalled.
I could not imagine what the problem was, so I tried to catch her reactions from the side of my attention.
Mrs. Visitor had personal drama happening and that i thought it was mesmerizing. Apparently some of the syrup had leaked out at the top of the Coke bottle, creating a tiny dark sticky blob to look.
She checked out her husband, then at me, then at the bottle, then at her husband, then at me, on the other hand in the bottle. She disgustingly ran her finger towards the top of the bottle and today she had that tiny sweet dollop on her finger. She again checked out her husband (who was ignoring her right now), then at me, then at her finger, then at her husband, then at me, on the other hand at her finger!
By now I'm thinking "She doesn't have Kleenex in her own purse? If she's been blown off track with this small and common occurrence, what is she doing traveling in this country?"
If this innocent ooze of syrup upset her a lot how her meal would go?
No disrespect intended
Since no one was rushing to her rescue to give her a hot, clean, wet, soapy cloth or whisk her off to a 5 star restaurant complete with apologies, eventually Mrs. Visitor looked to her left, then to her right, and rather guiltily, wiped the syrup off on the tablecloth. I do not imagine it ever occurred to her to ask the waiter for a napkin.
Part of me felt badly for not coming to her deliverance. She was afraid and out of her element, and I could see her frustration towards her husband for taking her here to Guatemala. Lost in desperation with no the aid of her spouse, this well-groomed woman was face-to-face with the fringe of her comfort zone... also it was not pretty.
I was both stunned and completely transfixed. I had forgotten that my twenty-two years of world travel had trained me to put a tissue within my purse for unexpected events exactly like it.
So here are several quick survival strategies for travel that I we do hope you find useful:
Bring baby wipes. Ladies have babies around the globe. If you're someplace with a semblance of civilization, you'll find baby wipes in the grocery stores. Go to the baby section, find the wipes. Insert them in your purse. When you travel on buses, want to sit in a chair which has strawberry syrup on it or discover that you need toilet tissue within the bathroom, you've got a clean wipe arrive at your aid.
Put napkin or wipes down soda bottle necks. If you are eating outside in warm weather and therefore are having a soda, flies or bees often gather for that sugary syrup. Place napkins or said wipes on the bottle neck and you may avoid an awful creature falling into your pop. When you are traveling overseas, it is commonplace to wipe from the mouth of beer and soda bottles even just in upscale locations.
Use sliced limes to wash your fingers. Platters of fish or shrimp in many cases are served whole by the pool and eating seafood can leave your fingers messy. Utilizing a thin napkin at your table could be unsatisfying. Use the sliced limes first then utilize your napkin. In this manner you won't have tiny bits of paper stuck to your fingers to annoy you further.
Say "Provecho!" When entering or leaving a restaurant in South america, say "Provecho!" with other diners. This basically means "Enjoy your meal" and it's a really socially polite aspect to say. It implies that you're an experienced traveler and you are an all-around-nice person.
Don't allow your safe place limit you. Life is for living. Grab a bite and relish it. Situations and circumstances aren't always just like they are "back home" and that is not a bad thing. Who cares if one makes a mistake? So what if a person lunch wasn't your favorite? A smile goes a long way for those around you and while you're in internet marketing give one on your own.
You deserve it to be brave enough to consider an opportunity.