Monday, June 15, 2009

Out of Asia

Well folks, after reflecting on my many travels throughout Asia over the past 5 years I though it might do me well to expand my horizons and see what another corner of the world is like. This line of thought brought me to Nicaragua, where I've been for 24 hours. You'll have to excuse the lack of photographs in this post as I'm slowly but surely working up the courage to whip $1000 worth of equipment out into the open.

The first story I heard upon arrival in my Managua hostel (Managua Backpackers Inn, highly recommended, run by the delightful and helpful David) last night was one from a pair of American girls who had been held up at knife point in a car whom they were talked into sharing with some friendly ladies expounding on the benefits of shared taxi over buses. What these kindly ladies didn't mention was that they were in cahoots with the drivers, and after a few clever moves to put the gringas at ease, such as filling up on petrol and driving in the direction they were ostensibly traveling, knives were pulled and the girls were informed, in a pretty civilized way it seems, that this was in fact a robbery and they'd be taking the girls' cash and ATM cards, as well as their PIN numbers. The thieves proceeded to the ATM machine to withdraw the cash, with the girls still in custody, and only after the cash had been withdrawn did they let the girls go, assuring them that if they walked straight "we'll throw your backpacks out of the car as we drive away" which, as you might have guessed by now, they didn't.

The girls seemed admirably unfazed by the experience, considering they had lost everything but the clothes on their backs. Oh, also the perpetrators allowed them to keep their passports and enough local cash to get them to a hotel. How thoughtful.

As a result of this rather chilling tale I've started my time here in full alert mode, highly suspicious of those just-a-little-too-friendly strangers, which is probably a good thing and I'm doing my best not to allow that to interfere with experiencing to the fullest this beautiful country and it's people, the vast majority of whom are the loveliest of folks.

Tomorrow I start Spanish language school here in Granada, which I'm pretty chuffed about.

1 comment:

Joseph M. Pavey said...

Great to hear you're safe and sound in Central America. I hope you enjoy the Spanish course. Are you going to stay in Nicaragua, or are you going to travel around the area? I'll be in Mexico and Belize for a month in January. Let me know if you want to meet up!