When my parents visited, I characterized them as being like children. They had no idea what was going on and always needed to be told what to do (as well as have things translated into Spanish for them). I realize now that this characterization just here makes them sound like idiots, but really it is just that the circumstances – the trip that I had planned plus their lack of Spanish and knowledge about the country, left them needing help. With my brother here last week, it was like having to deal with a constantly drunk person. At times he is boisterous, at other times shy. He can’t communicate that well in the local language but seems to make people laugh anyway. Sometimes he has no idea what is going on but usually he just goes with the flow; and above all else, he is constantly hungry. However, one of the side effects of his inebriation is that he denies that he is drunk. Everyone knows the guy who after a few drinks starts to say, “Iswearltogodimanotthatdrunkionyhadafooshoths.” Aaron just can’t quite seem to see how out of place he sometimes is here. That’s ok though. It was nice to have him, (almost) everyone liked him, and I think he had a good time.
Here are some memorable quotes/moments of his Nica drunkenness (just for the record, he didn’t have any alcohol the entire trip):
1. Upon leaving the sterility of the arrivals and customs area at Augusto C. Sandino International Airport and seeing his brother for the first time in a long time, the first thing he said was, “I forgot socks.” Yes, the professional pilot who packs an overnight bag nearly every day forgot to bring socks, except for the pair on his feet.
2. Approximately eight hours after arriving in Nicaragua, upon realizing that the shower water was cold and our hotel room was hot: “I want to go home.” At about the same time I was thinking to myself, “What would he talk about if he couldn’t talk about airplanes?”
3. “Could I get the gallo pinto without beans please?”
4. He somehow managed to order a C$ 174 sandwich at a sandwich shop where the average sandwich goes for C$65
5. He forgot to bring a razor and refused to borrow mine the entire trip
6. Sunburned. Badly on his scalp and neck. He had been warned.
7. He ate more plantain chips than I have eaten in my entire year in Nicaragua (and he has had them readily available in Puerto Rico!)
8. Taking directly after his esteemed father, he somehow inadvertently changed the combo on a little padlock, leaving both of our bags and my shoes locked inside a locker in our hostel in Matagalpa. We had to start prying at it with pliers from the hostel to finally wrench it open. The one girl asleep in the dorm was not very pleased.
I will say that his Spanish isn’t bad though. Everyone understood what he was saying for the most part.
Here’s how our itinerary turned out:
- March 28: Spent the night in Matagalpa
- March 29: Peñas Blancas (we wound up only spending one night)
- March 30: Another night in Matagalpa
- March 31: Travel to León
- April 1: Cosigüina
- April 2: Volcano boarding at Cerro Negro, followed by a visit to the Myths & Legends Museum
- April 3: Aaron did a sunset tour to Telica
- April 4: The great fried fish competition (Aaron sampled Nica fried fish to compare to his favorite $25 Garlic Red Snapper in Puerto Rico)
- April 5: He headed back to Puerto Rico
Here are a few pictures from the uniquely-León Myths & Legends Museum. I will say no more beyond that (these pictures are from my friend Jeniffer. I wish that I had brought my camera along). I did not take any pictures at Cerro Negro this time around.
This week I also made some considerable progress on my Occidente Bucket List, so I’ll leave you with an updated version of the list:
- Isla Juan Venado
Salinas Grandes Beach Volcan Cosigüina
- Volcan San Cristobal
Volcan Telica Momotombo
- León Viejo
- Jiquilillo Beach
- Wetlands of Chinandega
Climb the Cathedral Ruben Darío Museum (which is a block from my house) Myths and Legends Museum
- Botanical Gardens