When we got to Guatemala City, I asked the guy in front of me if the bus went to the city center. He wasn’t much help, but the guy sitting next to me was literally a rock star.
He told me I needed to go to Plaza Municipal. But the chicken bus wouldn’t drop me there. He told me where to get off the bus, and luckily he got off at the same stop.
He explained that I was too far to walk to the city center, and I probably shouldn’t anyway just to be safe given that I stick out with my gigantic backpack. He explained where I needed to go.
But I obviously didn’t really know where to go and he could see that. So he asked if I wanted him to show me. I said sure.
We ended up walking a solid 15 minutes to where I needed to wait for the bus. I had no idea it was that far. We made small talk along the way. He lived in New York for a couple years and I asked him if he thought Guatemala City was more dangerous than Brooklyn, his former home. He said Guatemala City was infinitely more dangerous… Interesting…
He told me he was taking me to the MetroBus station. But I heard “MicroBus”. So it was funny when we arrived and the bus is actually the length of two whole buses. But he brought me to the station and showed me which bus to take.
I offered him the 5 Quetzals in my pocket as a token of my gratitude – literally a token since I was so grateful. Five Quetzals can buy a small meal. He refused. I asked if I could take the picture above as a way to remember the nicest guy in Guatemala City. He agreed, though you can see he wasn’t too thrilled about it. I then tried to offer him the money again, and he again refused.
So in the end, he took a solid 30 minutes out of his day to help this gringo get to where he needed to be. Such hospitality and awesomeness are never covered in the news, but I’d say it’s quite common in most “dangerous” parts of the world.