Tuesday, August 14, 2007

En Breve

So I arrived last Friday to Guatemala City, my hometown. As a friend put it, to return is strange, but it must be done. I guess it sounded better in Spanish. Anyway, it is great to be visiting family, and it is indeed surreal to be in this city. In less than a month general elections will be held to chose president, congressmen, and mayors. All the city is wallpapered with pictures of the candidates and logos of all the different parties. There are more than a dozen presidential candidates and I am getting the feeling from my family that there is really no front-runner. There are candidate debates and commercials on TV all the time. There are groups of sympatizers on popular roads waving flags to the jingle of their party of choice, although they are most likely being paid to do it and they don´t volunteer their time. The elections this time became closer to my family because my brother got a contract to develop some sort of software and data bases to integrate information coming from different sources to be delivered to national media, particulary TV. That means, though, that he is no longer able to comment on the race on his blog.

In other news, there is some sort of p#$$!ng contest between the mayor and the central government. The mayor, who was at the end of the nineties the president, and the president, who was the mayor at the same time the other guy was the president, used to be friends and from the same party when I left Guatemala over 7 years ago. However, now that their posts are reversed and after the party crummbled away, they seem to have a tug of war whose only prisoners are the citizens of the capital. City hall has some strict rules about a very limited amount of time that heavy trucks and trailers can come through the city. This angered the private transport sector who stopped their shipments towards the Guatemala City. The most impacting shipment stalled outside the political city walls was gasoline. Therefore, on Saturday I accompanied my mom to look for gas for my sister´s car which proved to be harder than it sounds. We succeeded, although gasoline supply was re-established by Sunday after the ministry of transportation and the ministry of the interior made a deal with the private sector. The mayor in the meantime has been in a tantrum, avoiding to meet with anyone and rejecting the agreement that the central government reached with the shipment companies.

As is usual around here, the mayor is looking re-election and he is the front-runner. This little show of political intransigence won´t take votes away from him. And the city will have the same feudal lord for another 4 years. So, this are some little news from the land of Eternal Spring, where rain is a constant and weather is cool, whereas temperaments sometimes aren´t. I guess my friend was right, coming back is strange.

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