Normally, Xela is a quiet town, though it is the second largest city in Guatemala.  I know where my favorite juice lady is, and what time she opens in the morning.  I often run into my colleagues and friends as I cruise through the city and run through the market.  And then, aliens invaded and flipped us upside down.  The influx of visitors from Guatemala City brought with it an almost circus like quality.  We had concerts for days, and mimes and clowns, and guys painted silver that didn't move until you put a coin in their hat.  There were mobile cevicerias and food stands that lined the perimeter of the park.

I only went out once in the madness, but it was certainly enough for me.  I feel a sense of solidarity with the city as it finally heaves a sigh of relief.  The streets can once again be seen with the trash swept away, much like visitors, who have also blown back in the direction in which they came.  I like quiet, almost sleepy quality Quetzaltenango has in the morning as the fog begins to lift from the valley.  I like bumping into my tailor in the market as he buys thread and relays his stories about his daughter, you know, the one that gives him an ulcer with her escapades.  I like meeting my friends at the local bar where I can actually enjoy the music and still have a conversation.  

Am I getting old?  I might be.  Either way, I'll take a dull roar to a pounding beat any time.