Twelve Days, Twelve Lessons
What I learned in Nicaragua.
1. Taxis do not stop at stop signs, so wear your seatbelt.
2. Taxis do not have seatbelts.
3. Taxis are collective, meaning give yourself plenty of time to get somewhere because clients may be picked up and dropped off along the way.
4. To get your license, you buy it.
5. To flush a toilet, you may have to pour a bucket of water into it. It's best to always have one at the ready.
6. You cannot eat plantains that have not been cooked. Well you can, but I wouldn't.
7. Don't be alarmed by men carrying machine guns OR by men carrying bags with princesses on them.
8. LOOK before you step off the curb. There may or may not be a four-foot hole without a grate covering.
9. Café con leche does NOT mean hot coffee with milk. It means hot milk with a packet of instant coffee. Unless of course you've trained the hotel staff to give you black coffee with milk on the side… Then, when you are in the mood for instant coffee and you ask for café con leche, you will most likely get black coffee with milk on the side.
10. For all of your plastic needs you will have to find a plastic store. The most popular seems to be Plastinic because they not only sell plastic goods in every color imaginable, they also have an impressive variety of religious paraphernalia (bags, bowls, and cups with images of Jesus).
11. BEWARE of trucks carrying large speakers and driving at a snail's pace through town. Their goal is to wake you up if you're sleeping, interrupt your meeting over lunch, and announce something (!!) that cannot wait until the evening news.
12. People can be nice. People can be patient. People can be patients. People can be scared, people can be mean, people can be unfair, and people can be generous. It's great to be around a different type of people, but it turns out we're all made of the same stuff.