If you fry it, I will buy it!

Trip Start May 13, 2010
Trip End Jul 31, 2010

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Where I stayed
Casa loca

Flag of Nicaragua  ,
Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I'm still living with my hippy, rastafarian, artesano friends. It actually really feels like an extended family of really talented people. I can't remember if I've listed all the countries represented but here we go: Turkey, Argentina, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Germany and the USA. There are currently around 12-15 people living in the house. We all share a single bathroom and "no" you can't flush the toilet paper down the toilet so that's a lot of TP in one small waste basket. We've been watching a lot of the Copa Mundial (World Cup Soccer). I feel kind of like a dirty, lazy bum. My routine usually consists of being awakened every morning at 5:30am by the "kiri-kiri-kee" (Spanish for cocka-doodle-doo) of the neighboring roosters! Then I read my guide books for about an hour to plan and schedule all the traveling that is to come when Nic gets here. Around 7:30am I head downstairs for some Copa Mundial. Today Mexico and Uruguay duked it out and France and South Africa battled head to head. I've never been interested in fútbol but it's quite contagious at Casa Loca; even the ladies are avid fans.

Anyways, we are pretty much like one big family. All the ladies are greeted with kisses on the cheek and the guys always give each other high 5's followed by fist bumps. The posse often cooks together and shares food. Yesterday during the usual afternoon rainstorm someone was kind enough to pull my clothes off the clothesline before they got completely soaked. No one has complained about my deafening snoring problem. No one ever complains about anyone else. Everything is muy tranquilo (very calm, laidback). I often get traveling advice from my friends as well, like where and when to travel. What places are vale la pena (worth the trouble) and what places are not. I help the El Salvadoreans with their English and they help my with my Spanish. Maice, or Maiz one of my Tico (Costa Rican) roommates is an Artesano, musician, juggler and "fire thrower". I haven't seen his fire throwing act yet but he is super talented. He talks to me about Marxism and capitalism and he uses words like metaphysical, actualization and indoctrination. Yeah...his level of English is far superior to my level of Spanish. In fact, all the travelers that I´ve met speak amazing English. I feel a little embarrassed that I duct tape my Spanish sentences together while they paint their sentences in vivid, living color. Nonetheless, everyone is very accommodating to me and they help me with my Spanish whenever possible. They really appreciate that I put the effort into speaking Spanish and it really wins people over. Everyone has been really kind and told me that my Spanish is really good, at some point, I think I might believe them.

Today I met a new Pitbull friend in the streets. He was just hangin' on the sidewalk and as I approached, I stopped to grab my camera for a picture. He was too quick for me because while I sat, fumbling for my camera, he strolled up to me and put his head on my lap. I gave him some tender lovin' petting and he returned the love with some much needed snuggling. I really miss my dogs!

So...now to the main subject of this entry: Food! As some of you know, I'm kind of a glutton. I love to eat, correction, "overeat"! In Guatemala, some of my favorite stuff was Chiles Rellenos (serrano chiles stuffed with ground beef and rice and fried in egg batter) and chiles escasbeches (pickled cabbage and peppers). Oh, and everything in Guatemala comes with a warm basket of handmade tortillas and lime slices. In Honduras, I had fried fish and amazing habañero hot sauces. Nicaragua offers a departure from tortillas at every meal. They've replaced them with Gallo pinto (fried rice Nica-style, rice and beans essentially). I have never had such delicious beans and rice in my life. In fact, I generally avoid beans and rice stateside but here, it's simply amazing, perhaps because they fry it in butter or some kind of magic elixir. I've also fallen in love with platanos maduros (fried sweet bananas) queso frito (fried cheese), yuca con queso (fried yucca stuffed with cheese) and ensalada (pickled cabbage similar to cole slaw). Oh and while I was doing my marathon bus ride through Honduras, a lady boarded the bus with the best homemade donuts ever! Each one carefully crafted and deep fried. 4 lempiras per donut or less than $.25usd. Sorry Jim and Nic, I wish you could have been there! I don't know about you but there seems to be a theme here. If you can fry it, then Central Americans are going to fry it! I haven't been brave enough to drink their water yet and I probably won't but I have had drinks that we're definitely made with the stuff. They have all these fruit drinks called refrescos or frescos and they come it exotic fruit flavor. Even if I told you their names, I could not describe what types of fruit they are but suffice to say, all the fruit drinks are amazing. The fruit down here is amazing, hence the fruit drinks are unbelievably delicious. So far so good on the h2o front but I definitely am not going to push my luck.

Well, I you ever get the chance to come south, the food isn't as bad as you've been told. I was warned that C.A. is not known for it´s cuisine but from my perspective, it's awesome!
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