Cup O´Noodles saved my life!

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

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Flag of Nicaragua  , Jinotega,
Saturday, July 3, 2010

You know when youīre ready to check out at the grocery store, you always try to guess which line will move the fastest. Well...I never have any luck picking the fastest line. Iīm not sure if itīs more about the law of averages or just plain bad luck but sometime my decision to travel is similar to my experiences checking out, I just canīt win.

So my decision to go to León with Erick, my friend from El Salvador wasnīt such a great idea. I got a serious "something" there. I have been walking around with a fever for about 4 days. In León while I was lying in bed, I felt like a Trangy-pot pie. You know how they come out of the oven just raging hot, ready to scald the top of your mouth. Well, thatīs how I felt. I was literally a man on fire. Hence, traveling wasnīt such a smart idea but since I was in the neighborhood, I just thought Iīd cross Matagalpa and Jinotega off my list of places to see. Please excuse me for being soooo dumb and I was obviously somewhat "crazy" from the fever.

In my feverishly mad state, I arrived in Matagalpa. It is in the Nicaraguan highlands and the temperature is about 10 degrees cooler than Granada and it cooled my outsides pleasantly while my insides were baking like momīs apple pie. I found a cheap Hostel (de Mirador), I threw my stuff on the bed and then I went on an urban assault of the town. Itīs quite pleasant! It is nestled in the cool, green highlands known for coffee and beautiful women. I couldnīt confirm the part about the coffee but yes they do have some pretty lady. I was actually told this by a construction worker that I met in León. Anyways, after about 3 hours, I thought that I had seen enough but that could have just been the fever talking. I made the poor decision to push on through to Jinotega.

The road to Jinotega is winding, curvy, precipitous, dangerous, without guard rails and definitely worth the price of the chicken bus ride. It is about 3000 ft. above sea level so again, way cooler than the sweaty Pacific lowlands of Granada and León. Purportedly itīs just a hick, uncultured little brother to Matagalpa. Maybe so, but Iīll never know. I spent the majority of my time sick and  watching movies in Spanish in my hotel room. The cheapest place I could find was 250 córdobas or $12.50usd. Itīs really not a big deal but compared to my last 3 weeks at 80 córdabas/night that was really steep. Thatīs alright though, I needed to treat myself well to offset the stupidity of my decision to continue traveling. I would have stayed in León but itīs one of the hottest cities in Nicaragua and the hostel that I was staying at reeked of cheap perfume and I didnīt need another reason to vomit.

The following morning after not trying too hard to find a bus to Estelí, another highland town, I decided that it would be best to head back to Granada. I needed to return to my home away from home but that meant another 5 hours on a bus. Traveling in C.A. isnīt always the fastest or easiest thing to do but it sure is cheap, which at that moment was no consolation whatsoever.

When I got to Managua, I thought I could just take a short walk to my bus station, wrong again! I asked around and everyone unanimously said it was way too far and they were right. Even by taxi it took me 20 minutes to get to the UCA bus station, which everyone calls "la ooka" so U-C-A meant nothing to them. My first cab driver wanted to cram me into his tiny car with another family. I not so courteously did not accept his offer. I thought he was trying to gouge me for the ride, 50 córdobas or $2.50usd. It was totally worth the price but I was totally messed up because of my fever. Anyways, when I found out that he wasnīt trying to gouge me, I hired a driver with a station wagon and I was the only client so it was definitely way better for me.

Well, I got back to Granada without insulting any other locals. The buses are killing me though. Central American bus drivers will fill all available spaces meaning every seat, aisle and sometimes lap. When I rolled back down the Calzada towards Casa Loca. Itīs was like a welcome home parade for me. Everyone was really happy to see my pale, sweaty Chinese/Japanese face back in town which is exactly what I needed. The other thing I needed was to do some laundry! I never wear my boxers for more than a single day and the ones that were clinging to my bottom had seen the better part of 2 days.

Oh did I mention, that Iīve lost my appetite for all things related to food. That is frickinī crazy but because of this miserable whatever, I hate eating. If I were at home, Nic would just make me some of her wonderful homemade chicken noodle soup. She always teases me because before we met, Iīd never had homemade chicken soup so when I would get sick Iīd always just eat Campbellīs because that was all I knew...I guess I didnīt know much. Well, I thought about making some really simple chicken broth with rice last night but when I went to the store across the street. The answer to all my prayers, the antidote to my venom was just sitting on the shelf for $.50 cent. Maruchan Cup Oī Noodles after one cup, I was cured. By the way if your curious itīs just called Mar-oo-chon down here. Itīs crazy when they just use English words for stuff because they put accents in different places than we do so I never know how to pronouce English words, i.e., Gatorade, they call guessed it Gatorade but I thought because of how they pronouce word phonetically that it would be called (got-o-rod-ay). Oh and I called Cup of noodles (copa de fideos), they got that one but only because they are used to me bashing their language. I just canīt win. Thus far Iīve eaten 2 cups of Maruchan. Iīve drank 2 gatorades and 2 fruit smoothies in 2 days. I donīt think Iīm gonna last on such few calories. I might look a little emaciated when you see me next. The food agrees with me but after 7 weeks, Iīm starting to miss the taste of home. In fact, the other day fried chicken sounded good to me but I had to settle for pizza. I donīt know what it is with Central Americans but they donīt have a real nack for tomato sauces, even the ketchup sucks! Either they are way too sweet or way too salty.

Anyways, I gotta go now and try to find something that wonīt make me vomit. At least the fever is gone. I just need to regain my appetite. Take care all!
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