Friday, January 04, 2008

Beneath the surface

I wish I felt a little better, because I am really beginning to like this place. I know that Granada is THE most touristy town in Nicaragua, but I can´t help but notice there is a wierd vibe bubbling beneath the surface here. I can´t put my finger on it, but it´s probably comparatitis from Guatemala. This is how I compare the two:
Guatemala: calm, slower, people with peace on their faces, lingering on the streets, painted signs on the buildings, Mexican style, Mayans, big eyes, weavings, welcoming , more innocence in the children, modesty
Nicaragua: fast, alive, people with slimmer, more cat-like faces and smaller eyes, (wierd I know but I´m not hallucinating), people with coarser hair, desperate little kids, reggaeton and loud horns blaring out of cars, a slight sense of despair, colorful buildings, more hoochie outfits (the muffin top is very "in" here), women tettering around in metallic shoes
I hope that´s not judgemental, but those are some of the observations I have had the past two days. It´s really a shame I´m not feeling better, because I´d love to see some live music and have a few victoria beers, but it´s naps and fruit shakes for me today. I feel like I´m missing an opportunity to see the city better, but today I laid in my fantastic room for 6 hours in the aircon. I have to make myself well before the islands. I really haven´t been taking stellar care of myself, getting up at the crack of dawn, going here and there, not taking vitamins or thinking about nutrition.. This happened to me in Asia too, I had one day where I thought I had the flu, then I felt better.
This morning I woke up early again to go ziplining. I did this with Kathy in Costa Rica and it´s so much fun. There were NO other gringos there, just me and like 6 Nica guys. They took great care of me, and actually I´m glad no other gringos came, because I could talk to them. One guy, Martin, always went before me and Manuel followed behind. I kept complaining about being tired and Manuel would give me shoulder and arm massages, haha. Anyone who knows me knows that I don´t turn down massages! So we´re on the top of a tree, great, can you move it a little to the left? Awesome. Usually I would feel a little strange being on the top of a tree with 2 Nicaraguan guys in the middle of nowhere, getting a massage but it was just another normal day.. This is funny. We drove to the woods on a road so bad that the driver used the shoulder instead of driving on the potholes. On the way there I rode with one guy from New York who was strangely travelling by himself. And I say strangely because american guys rarely travel by themselves! He agreed that girls are normally more adventurous. I met a few girls travelling solo (like Antonella) but every guy is usually in a couple. Why is that? Travelling solo is so much fun, I don´t get why they don´t do it. Australians and Canadians do, though. American guys - rarely.
I was reading in Lonely planet that this is the second poorest country in the western Hemisphere, to Haiti. We did see a lot of african-looking tin shacks out in the woods but Granada is not that bad. And the history is so interesting. The whole sandinista-contra thing from the late 80s. I remember hearing about it when I was in high school. There is definitely some residual hurt from that era.
Tomorrow, Corn! Corn! Not sure when you´ll hear from me again but I´ll try to write. I will be there for 5 nights I think.


sara said...

Kathy, you back from Paris yet? Antonella, how was your new years? Any other mediaedgers there?

Antonella said...

New Year's was good. Nice seeing again all the usual friends.
Hey, you're right about american guys. I was thinking the same things. I met several girls traveling alone but barely any guy. My friend I was telling you about (the "free spirit") is the exception, I guess. By the way, this is his blog about trip to central america. A bit old now, but I found it very pleasant to read. I think he's a good writer..

sara said...

Im enjoying the internet one last time before i go to the islands.

I feel much, much better now. I slept 15 hours over the past day and im as good as new.

I forgot to tell you guys that I met some people at the bearded monkey happy hour the other day, and they saw a body wash up on the beach = sorry the punctuation on this computer is bad, I cant find the EXCLAMATION POINT= yes, so the police came, and they let the body sit there all afternoon and little kids were coming around and poking at it. This was in Leon, on the pacific side.

Oh, and I just love my new hotel. Its called "asia latina", its also a lounge that plays worldlyish electronica. There are beautiful asian artifacts and a chandelier. Although, its only 30 dollars a night. I laid in the hammock and watched the attractive staff. Mostly guys, well dressed, fluffing pillows and lighting candles just so. They had extraordinary posture. then I saw the rainbow flag. I realized that Im staying at the only gay hotel in Gradada, exclamation point. haha. Possibly the only gay hotel in all of Nicaragua. I knew there was something vaguely familiar about it after living in boystown, chicago. I took TWO hot showers, it was amazing. They speak NO english either. But I just love the place.

OK, Im about to take another minibus and get on a small scary plane. adios

Chica Baja said...

Oh chica. Viajes Seguridades a las islas de maiz! Yo cuento como un Mediaedger? No, probablement no.

Nada divertido para mi ahora. Como al Uncommon Ground ayer con mi madre, tia y prima. DELICIOSA como siempre.

Oh, el leyendo para "Bump" estare Viernes, el 31 de enero. Todas las chicas del foyer y las mismas del Vote For Amor! :)


Kate C. said...

You are so coming back with a Nica masseuse boyfriend and new Nica gay friends!!!

I am so glad you are feeling better. Kathy, Trisha, Christine and I had a lovely night in SMOKE FREE BARS. i don't stink. I feel great and it was fantastic. I was walking by Max's Where Friends Meet Friends and there were people OUTSIDE smoking.

Enjoy the corn!

trisha said...

what is that 4th picture? you know, the one with something coming out of the ground!?!

oh - so glad you're feeling better! go enjoy the islands!!!!

sara said...

Trisha, that´s just the parque central in Granada, and a fountain

trisha said...

actually, that's not the picture i was talking about. i'm embarrassed to admit i didn't recognize that other picture is of a dog! somehow it looked like worms crawling out of a small hole in the wall. hmm, i know, i'm strange. apparently my perception was off when i checked the pics. now i get it.

Kathy said...

That's ok Trisha. I thought the picture was a snake in a dust pan. It took a couple moments to see a dog.

What's wrong with us?

trisha said...

thanks kathy, i feel better now ;)

i think it just goes to show we expect the most bizarre things to pop up in schirmy's vida!