Sonic El Hedgehog*

Road to Tikal - Arcade Game

King of Fighters ’97, in every Chinese arcade

It wasn’t functioning well, but then again, the brakes on the minibus were the same way.

I was in Guatemala, plying a common tourist’s trail between Flores and Tikal, when the minibus driver decided – that is, was looking forward to the day’s commission – to stop at a souvenir store/watering hole.  Did you know that Guatemala is one of those countries that maintains official relations with Taiwan instead of China?  That means there are no products in which the label reads “Made in China.”

Do you believe that?  If you don’t, you’re right.  The label should read “Hecho en China.”

Anyway, as the rest of the bus emptied out…its pockets into the shop’s coffers, I went on my usual tangent and crossed the street.  Why is that?  Well, I eked out the shape of an arcade video game.

You see, while others were, in some of their spare time, watching movies, tv and eh, I suppose playing video games, I was only choosing option C.  In the early 2000s, I’d go with friends to New York’s Longacre Square (yep, not proud of it) and visit one of the four or so game arcades in the neighborhood.  They had a flight simulator, air hockey and shootings.  Lots of shootings.  In fact, that’s why the number of video game parlors in Manhattan has greatly reduced.  Or high rent.  One of those two.

Needless to say, I seldom get the chance to play on one of those machines.  It was also delightfully random to see a lone relic, in Japanese no less, standing in the middle of a Guatemalan pit stop.

Thanks for the memories, oh bearer of a broken joystick.  Thanks for the victory, teenaged Guatemalan chap.

*hedgehog= (Spanish) el erizo

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2 comments on “Sonic El Hedgehog*

  1. Adam says:

    Think of all the great movies you missed…. Good blog entry .

    Reminded me of seeing a giant sonic sticker in San Salvador .

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