Thursday, January 10, 2008

Maize hoy, maize mañana

Little corn island is a beautiful, peaceful island - filled with gossip, intrigue and scandal. OK, ok, maybe I exaggerate. Scandal - yes, they did have a problem with drug trafficking two years ago, when some of the shuttle boats were stopped and searched often. But that´s under control now. And gossip, well, I found that out for myself at the sweet Oasis snack bar.
Whenever you go to a small place like this, after a few days you see the same people over and over and over... I was only on Little corn for 4 days and I had already met over half the tourists, knew who the empanada man was, how to find the bread lady, the coconut bread kids and the town drunk. My eco-lodgey place, the Casa iguana, did not serve lunch so I often went through the woods into town (a 10 minute walk to the other side of the island) for internet and something to eat. You have about three choices. The popular cuban place, the coconut bread kids and the Sweet Oasis, which looks like some ice cream stand from the 50s. I couldn´t stomach any more spicy seafood or rice n´ beans so I dared try a hot dog at the sweet oasis, which is on the main, well, sidewalk, and offers both dramatic telenovellas on the TV and great people watching. The hot dog was not that bad. I never thought that I´d eat a nicaraguan hot dog, willingly, but it had a pleasingly artificial meat taste. A torrid love affair was coming to an end on the TV and to my left was the 20 year old (well, I found out on the plane that she´s fresh out of high school) wide-eyed fraulein straddling the town rasta. I also had the misfortune of talking to Peter, a sun-baked ex pat from Hawaii and god knows where else. We talked about how he ended up on little corn, and how I was trying to learn spanish. "come on... all the spanish you need in Chicago is - MOW MY LAWN CHICO - hahahahaha, am I right?" Peter was an ass. I have a little theory about ex pats who have been living in the tropics too long. Not retirees, but those mysterious people who bounce from tropical place to place, in flip flops and a beer stained shirt. They are usually... como se dice, one beer short of a six pack. He told me a bunch of other half truths about himself, and about my hotel. At dinner, I told one of the owners, a nice girl from Maine, that I had met Peter and what he said to me. Lies, all of it. And we had a laugh about the starstruck young German girl in love with Rasta mon. So... yeah, I guess I contributed to the town gossip. What do you expect?
The Iguana served some pretty good dinners in the three days I was there. Kingfish with bernaise sauce, pork loin and polenta, and a salad with dressing so good that one of my dinner buddies drank some of the dressing out of the bowl. This is where I got to know Susan and Sharon, thirtysomethings from Dallas, along with Emily (producer for HGTV) and Anna (works for Betsey Johnson) from San Francisco. We had our own little drunken hen party of sorts and discovered that we had been to a lot of the same places - US. Vietnam, Nicaragua, Africa. Why on earth don´t more American guys travel to these places? Guys, take note - you could get so much more play if you´d only stop going to "Las Vegas with your buddies" and take some chances. But I digress. Eveyone at the Iguana had a good time at dinner. There was this bizarre old, tiny hulk hogan like sailor guy who I took my picture with, and refer to as my future ex husband. During dinner a giant moth flew up to the rafters, we thought it was a bird. It´s body was as big as a birds´. Then a lizard caught it! Kelly and the Texans tried to teach me how to play Texas Hold em, but I got tired again and went to bed. I seriously don´t know why I can´t stay up past midnight in Nicaragua. Maybe it´s the sun.
I tried to go snorkeling, but the dive boat left without me. So I hung out in some hammocks and alternated between that and swimming. Yeah, poor me. Yesterday morning, Emily, Anna and I took a two hour hike up to the light house-tower thing, and took some crazy detours through the woods to some other beaches on the island. They were funny, smart girls and I enjoyed hanging out with them. Only a little younger than me (but we all agree that none of us look older than 27), they have interesting jobs in another big city so we had plenty to talk about. I also thought it was funny that A & E identified my accent right away - as much as I try to hide it, I have the obnoxious midwestern Chicago accent. haha. We also ran into another pet monkey, I took a video for youtube. I´ll try to post some more videos later.
Today I took a tiny plane back to Managua, with the fraulein and her mother. But she´s going back to little corn in a few weeks to get herself some more rasta! haha. I checked back into my favorite gay hotel (I wonder if they will say to me haaaaaaaaay novia!, OK maybe not...) and I´m going to try that live salsa band place later. I hope they have live music on a Thursday.
above - the playa, climbing the lighthouse, a baby pineapple (how cute), another playa, my outdoor shower.


sara said...

sadly, my boat back to big corn was not as wild and crazy as the first boat. I was looking forward to another roller coaster ride!

sara said...

Anna, Emily, Antonella, T & TJ - anytime you are in Chicago, I will show you around! I was lucky to meet great people on this trip.

Liz said...

The baby pineapple is the cutest thing I've ever seen.
Travel safe home...if you need a ride from the airport...let me know how flexible my schedule is...

Anonymous said...

If you run into that tiny Hulk Hogan type guy again you should tell him to audition for American Gladiators (I think they take North, Central, or South Americans). Hulk Hogan is the host and I think a lot of people would tune in to see a mini hulk. The New American Gladiators is about the coolest thing that you have missed so far, and I'm sure they'll air reruns. Miss you! When do you get home??? -Kellogg

Elizabeth said...
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Elizabeth said...

Hola chica! I feel like such a bad friend...this is the 1st time I am leaving a comment. But rest assured that I have been keeping up with you your whole trip. It sounds like you are having so much fun! I am so jealous! I need a vacation! You aren't missing anything aqui. The weather is crappy (except one day where it hit like 55 or something) and nothing is going on. Christmas and New Years were a blast...not really. The holidays are over and I still hate them. And work is busy, busy! The only thing getting me through the days are the fun e-cards! I sent Dan one yesterday that said "I love you like a cannibal loves human flesh." I thought it was hysterical and he thought it was funny, but not as funny as I did. Whatever. Sometimes that kid has no sense of humor, I tell ya. He just doesn't get our kind of comedy. Well, I'll stop rambling now! Keep having a great time and have a safe trip home! Don't forget...we got BBQ soon!

Antonella said...

Thanks! I love Chicago and I'm sure I'll come back some time.
Of course, you or any of the traveller friends are more than welcome to come thaw here in Phoenix any time at my place.
So..., what's next? I can't help thinking about my next vacation as soon as I'm back home. I think I'll go see my family in Italy in spring, but I will stop somewhere on the way.
Any cool suggestions?

trisha said...

it made me so happy to see a new blog entry! enjoy the rest of the trip and we'll see you in a few. don't forget to take a deep breath of the fresh, tropical air before you leave!

Kate C. said...

Enjoy your last few days on vacation! I am sure you are glad to know the American held in the Nica prison was released and he is home and made his way to the Today Show ;-)

I didn't know baby pineapples were pink. I am going to eat them with a whole new appreciation

sara said...

Liz, I get in early evening Sunday so I might just take the CTA or taxi. But thanks mucho for the offer! if I have a change of heart I'll call you. Yeah, the baby pineapples were adorable. weeping.

Kellogg, Hulk's photo is posted for you. Wow, was he strange!! You would have enjoyed him. He talked like a pirate. Lots of ARRR! peppering his speech. And not in an ironic way.

E, I'm ready to get my BBQ on asap. And cannibalism is ALWAYS funny.

Antonella, I'm still ON vacation and I'm already thinking about my next one!! We'll have a big old long "vacation ideas" email when I get back!

Kate C, yeah, there are lots of shady goings on here. And I love seeing Daniel Ortega billboards everywhere. A flash from the past. I tried to take some photos of them but chickened out. And I
thought of you, strangely, when I saw Britney and Kevin's "chaotic" for sale in the Managua airport. Wonder who would buy that?