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Current location: Peek-A-Boo Lingerie Shop and Internet Cafe, San Ignacio, Belize

07.16.10

Price of beet in a bar: US$1.50 (likely gringo pricing)
Song currently stuck in my head: Shakara (Fela Kuti)

Our man in British Honduras (OMIBH) moved here from The States a little over a decade ago.  She (yes, OMIBH is and has always been a woman) started and continues to run a local business, so shadowing her has been incredibly enlightening with regard to the intricacies of daily Belizean life.  Belize is a strange bird; English speaking former British colony (hence “British Honduras”, which is kind of like calling Panama “American Colombia”) that simultaneously operates more and less functionally than most of it’s neighbors.  I was trapped here when my ATM card was canceled in 2007 and got a first hand look at the infamously craptastic banking situation.  It was almost impossible to convince banks to sell me travelers checks, even when they advertised the sale of traveler’s checks.  Identity wasn’t an issue and neither were funds.  The root of the problem was more… esoteric than that and steeped deeply in government regulation.

Not that I condone the use of traveler’s checks, but they are adorable.  It feels like I’m living in the 1700s, prior to the dollar, and trading in private bank notes.

After tying up some loose ends in The States I jumped onto a Southwest flight, blew all of my remaining drink tickets and chatted with Cara Zavaleta, who, sat next to me. If that’s not an argument for Southwest’s system of unassigned seating, then I don’t know what is.

Hours later The Girlfriend and I were reunited at FLL where we spent the night.  Thank you sleepinginairports.com, you’re a perfect example of why I love the internet and you’re right, the green “couches” were “comfortable”.  The next few days were kinda whiz-bang, but loosely followed this guide from BelizeBus Blog.  There are rumors of a more direct bus, but they have yet to be substantiated.  If they prove true, I’ll drop the folks at BBBlog a line.  We stayed at Hotel Ucum in Chetumal, US$20 with clean rooms and a pool, tore down a mountain of ceviche and mugs of michelada, then made our way to San Ignacio via Belize City.

I plan to upload detailed expense information; every transaction will be tracked via spreadsheet and uploaded as CSV files.  You’ll be able to open them in Excel (or what have you) if you choose and do whatever you like with them.  When researching for this trip the single most recurrent question asked was “how much does it cost to live there” and it often went unanswered.  I hope that the data from our grand experiment can help sate that curiosity.  That data will come soon, but our time in Belize is more background research than experiment so it will probably not be included.  Anyone with questions about the cost of living here should post them directly and I’ll try to get them answered, likely by OMIBH.

I’m still refining my packlist so there are no final results to post at this time.

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