Monday, March 24, 2008

Verano Feliz Verano Seguro

I love the one that says avoid an excess of passengers. The Salvadorans that were behind us on the Panamerican were given a ticket for having too many people in their mini van. There were 3 adults, 1 teenager, and 2 kids, and you know a mini van can safely hold more than that. They also did not stop all of the pickups with Nicaraguan plates full of people in the truck bed (not so safe). I also like the one that says drive with all of the doors closed. Why, may I ask, is this a problem?!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

What You Should Know about Traveling to Nicaragua

  1. Don't break any traffic laws, ever. Always have your fire extinguisher and triangle handy. Buy the stupid car insurance. If you have Salvadoran license plates, you will be stopped approximately every 15 minutes. Nicaraguans know how to drive like "normal" people. This is happy, even though donkey carts and horses are mixed in with cars.
  2. Phone service sucks.
  3. 70 sunblock does exist and is a worthwhile purchase.
  4. You can spend cordoba or dollars. Why change, as long as you're good at doing conversion rates in your head?
  5. Nicaraguans make good food. And they have international food. Yum, gyros and bibimbab.
  6. Medicine is cheaper in Nicaragua than El Salvador.
  7. Gas is more expensive (even though they're getting part of it from Venezuela?)
  8. Malls are much more interesting. I actually found clothes I liked, even though they were outrageously expensive.
  9. Buy the $1 map and don't get "lost" in the Selva Negra with the crazy howler monkeys.
  10. You can't buy the isletas in the lake by Granada, even though there's signs saying you can.
  11. Volcano fumes can make you feel really sick, or even pass out. A comforting thought for all of those who were tossed over the edge as sacrafices...they probably didn't get to the bottom before they were unconcious.
  12. San Juan del Sur is nice, but nothing special unless you want to surf. The road to "one of the most touristed places in Nicaragua" especially during semana santa sucks.
  13. Queso ahumado is awesome, as is Flor de Cana.
This was an excellent trip, and we got to see a lot. It was a good idea to come back on Friday, since we avoided traffic just about everywhere, and I got to see people making alfombras in Soyapango as we looked for a way that wasn't blocked to go to Edwin's house. Edwin went to the beach yesterday with his family, and said what is normally a 30 minute drive took 2 hours going and 3 hours coming. Glad I stayed at home with the cat!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

What Salvadorans Put in the Back of Trucks

These people had a whole band in the back of their truck, with the cymbals hanging off the side.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Cavities? Go to El Salvador

I was just reading this interesting piece on Tim's El Salvador blog about the cheap cost of dental work in El Salvador. When I came to El Salvador after a year in Colombia of eating sugar filled/covered/drenched everything, and poor preventive care dentists (yes, I did go there, twice), my mouth was very unhappy. Fortunately, I now have a dentist in El Salvador, who coincidentally is my future sister-in-law, who gives me great prices. When I went two weeks ago, I only paid $20 for the filling of one nasty cavity. And that's without the help of insurance. I can't imagine how much that would cost back in Ohio, especially if I have no dental insurance!