What a couple of days I’ve had. I have been robbed twice. I felt like a jackass. I have never been robbed at home nor on any travel experience. It happened once in my hotel room and then the house I had recently purchased, was broken into. Luckily there wasn’t any damage done at the house except for the smashed padlock on the front door, the door was going to be replaced soon anyway.
Fueled, Packed, and Ready
Prior to moving to Nicaragua, I had a few of months free from work. I took the opportunity, to take a road trip. I promised myself long ago, that if I ever get the opportunity to see the States through the windshield of my car, I am going to do it. Three of us – my fiancé, my dog, and myself, traveled almost 8500 miles in a thirteen year old four door and a two-person tent.
There are not too many things that really I miss from back home, not yet at least. At first everything is new. I quickly got used to eating rice and beans and plantains and yucca almost daily.
What I have come to miss is good Bourbon (Maker’s Mark), my favorite deodorant (Jãson), tempeh, and a damn good pizza. Every few weeks I get a craving for pizza, but ultimately find myself disappointed. I have tried pizza in several places in Nicaragua. You know what they love on their pizza in Nicaragua? Ketchup!!! When the guy at the León baseball stadium ask if I wanted salsa, I assumed he meant hot sauce. I hate ketchup.
My First Quinceañera
I watched as family was prepping for a birthday party this evening. What I didn’t know was that tonight I would find myself in the midst of my first Quinceañera. A Quinceañera is a Hispanic tradition of celebrating a girl’s 15th birthday. It’s a rite of passage. A coming of age. After today, she is no longer considered a girl, but a young woman.
The Black Forest
Hidden just out of downtown Matagalpa, Nicaragua is beautiful eco-resort called Selva Negra. About two hours from hot and hectic Managua lies a naturally beautiful hideaway. It is more than a resort. It is more than a place to stay for the night. It is well disguised in the cloud forest where adventure, relaxation, and a pleasant detox from the bigger cities awaits. The air is clean, fresh, and crisp. You are rocked to sleep by the sounds of nature, a cool breeze, and howler monkeys.
My First Border Run
My visa was due to expire this week. I had tried to get my visa extended a few different ways here in Nicaragua, nothing worked. In the end, I was forced to make my first border run.
In León, street vendors sell everything from fresh fruit to used clothing to freshly cooked tortillas on the streets and sidewalks. When I first started coming to Nicaragua, I thought, “how convenient”. Even when I first moved to León, I enjoyed walking to the end of the block to buy fresh fruit.
Last week I bought six luscious mangoes for C$20 (about $0.65). A dozen bananas run about the same. Hawaiian pineapples, with the perfect balance of sweet and acid, set me back C$25 (about $0.80). A dozen kinds of fruits and vegetables that I’ve never seen before coming to Nicaragua are also dirt cheap. All organic, all fresh, and ready to eat. No need to wait for fruit to ripen. In fact, if I don’t eat the fruit by the next day, it usually so over ripe that it ends up in a smoothie. So I try to buy what I’m going to eat that day and nothing more.
It is funny how things change. How my perspective has changed. Normally, I wouldn’t give sidewalks a second thought. It’s only been a few months and this “convenience” has begun to irritate me.
The Museum of the Revolution
To truly understand a culture it is important to be versed in its history. Nicaragua has had a troubled and emotional past. I was old enough to remember watching the news coverage of the troubles in Nicaragua in the 1970s, but was too young to grasp the reality of what was happening. I also remember Oliver North and the Iran-Contra hearings as a teenager, but at that age I wasn’t politically astute and frankly, didn’t care that much.
STOP YOUR DAMN WHINING!
(I apologize, in advance, for the language I use in this post.)
Note: This was an unexpected post. I was so pissed off the I felt that I needed to share a rant.