Living in Honduras or Guatemala as a foreigner is sometimes hard, mostly fun and never boring. This Blog is about more than just the oddities of my years in the not-so tranquil, cobble-stoned town of Copán Ruinas and, more recently, Antigua Guatemala. Hence Serendipity, the gift of finding without seeking…
Sunday, June 30, 2013
I guess each town
has its own Gallery of Fame of Extraordinary Characters and Copán Ruinas is no
exception. There’s the guy who sells corn on the cop on a corner of the central
park; the legless beggar; the panhandling nasty old lady who hits you with her
stick if you refuse to give her some money; that one particular drunk,
amazingly still alive after years of guaro;
and Doña Mena whose diner is called “El Pijazo” (The Punch) because she’s
famous for hitting her customers. But in Copán Ruinas we also have celebrities
of the canine variety.
For those who’ve
been to Copán, Bombero hardly needs introduction. You’ll probably see him
hanging around at the park, the market or even more likely, at Café Via Via. Not
that Bombero doesn’t have an owner: he actually belongs to a vegetable salesman
at the market and his real name is Manchas (spots), because he’s a Dalmatian and
all Dalmatians in Honduras
are called Manchas.
But because he likes
to hang around with gringos, he got
his own gringo name too, Bombero of Fireman, again because of his appearances,
of course, Dalmatians being a firehouse mascot in the US.
Bombero has his
routine down to a tee. In the early morning he runs along the moto-taxi that
brings his official owner to the market. He flirts a bit with the neighbour who
besides selling veggies and fruit also preaches over a portable sound system.
Then he lies down in front of the market’s entrance to see the world go by or
to wait for me to accompany me to Café Via Via for a yoga class. Bombero is
great at Downward Dog, does a good Happy Baby and gladly joins you on the mat
Breakfast is daily
served at the Via Via for Bombero and his friend Bambi, also a regular at this
restaurant. The rest of the day Bombero likes to hang around at the Via Via, trying
to sneak on the couch, getting petted by tourists or just to sit on the porch
and bark at any man passing by with a hat or machete. His charm and good looks
make every human melt down, except those guys with hats and machetes, maybe. In
the afternoon he takes a walk through town, but is never late for dinner, again
at the Via Via. Then it’s bedtime, somewhere up the hill, just to start his routine
all over again the next morning.
Many dogs in
Copán are in a pretty miserable state because there’s not much of a “pet
culture”. But Bombero sure is one of the lucky ones…