A loo with a view

After a month in the jungle, we’ve moved to the other side of the lake between Panajachel and Santa Catarina Palopó.

We’ll be in this beautiful place for the next three weeks. The kitchen is better. There is a sofa! The bugs are smaller and stay mostly outside. A stray cat does not eat our garbage. Better.


Jealous? I earned it.

We’re closer now to Casa Colibrí, where we drank many rums, so we are enjoying a similar view. My favorite spot is the veranda. Unfortunately, my child’s head and body fit through the railings to the two-storey drop below, so I have wrapped black twine between the bars. There is also an electrical outlet on the floor without a cover, which she loves. When she touches it I tell her ‘no’ and she screams. Basically child-proofed.

My second favorite spot is the loo. Not the bathroom, but the actual john. It pleases and amuses in equal measure. Many houses would incorporate a large window into the shower or above the bathtub. Not here.

Who needs a magazine when you’ve got this view?


Clearly, this was the work of a man. A shameless, brazen cry of defiance on behalf of all menfolk, who will spend as long as they damn well please in there, sitting and waiting. Because they are on vacation and will not be rushed. It is a symbol: an ivory throne for the man who has lived a long life full of hard work and deserves to smile down upon the glistening waters of a prehistoric lake as he forces one out before it’s ready.

It’s an inspired design choice. One could easily get lost in the view and sit there until one’s legs fell asleep, if one was so inclined.

HOWEVER: in the dark, the White Spider comes.

I do not have a picture of the White Spider, because who would?

The White Spider parks herself squarely in the middle of the single-paned window in front of the toilet sometime after nightfall. She waits. She watches you on the loo. Occasionally a little gnat will venture too close. You can see her mouth work – a hungry little O.

The last time I looked at her directly, she was eating a moth. It was not ‘sad’ per se because I don’t have strong feelings about moths. G made me watch. This was days ago and there is still a powdery dusting on the window from the moth’s wings, a testimony to the violence committed there that haunts me still.

Otherwise, as I said, things are better. The dog lays in the sun. There are stairs to the front door, not a mud chute. The rain has abated. The late afternoon sunlight is magical. The sunsets are miraculous.

The nightly lighting storms are spectacular.

The boats are adorable.

The flowers smell pretty.

Life is beautiful.




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