Although it may be a flattering gesture, several complications arise when a Guatemalan women underestimates the size of your bottom. Not only can it lead to impracticality, but it can also cause severe discomfort. Guatemalan buses are notorious for being cramped, dangerous and colourful. Chicken buses, so called either for the fact that people are crammed in like poultry or because locals often bring their livestock on as hand luggage, are certainly an experience. Guatemala’s winding, mountainous roads don’t particularly help matters, but at least it looks nice if you’re lucky enough to have an undisturbed view out of the window.
A young Guatemalan boy stares at me, his dark eyes wide and inquisitive. I glance up from the pages of my book and he hurriedly looks out at the buildings rushing by, cheeks reddening slightly. We continue this charade for a few minutes as the bus trundles along, but before long we are engaged in conversation. I intrigue him. Where have I come from? What am I reading? How many volcanoes are there where I live? My answer is met with an incredulous titter. What do you mean there are no volcanoes in England?