Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Letters From Travels: Book Exchange Drama

Still in Granada, Nicaragua. It's not as super sweet as San Juan del Sur was. I'm staying in a place that is super gringoed out. It's killing me, although free internet is nice for once.

They have a pretty cool book exchange here that I was pretty excited about. I traded one book in the other day, and it went fine. And then I tried again and apparently violated the sacred book exchange laws, and went through hell to get a sub optimal (at best) book.

I tried to trade a modern book called Cheese Monkeys for the Brothers Karamazov but it got rejected (all the trades have to approved by the owners). So I tried with a couple of other books. No dice. Finally I saw one of the owners, the wife of the couple, talking to a couple of irrate would-have-been customers. Trying to be tactful I waited politely, and then asked her if I could steal a minute of her time even though she seemed like she might be stressed by other things.

"I'm not stressed" she interrupted me. Oh goody, we're arguing already. So I asked her why my trades were being shot down, and she explained to me that I was picking out "classics" and in or to get a classic I had to give her one. Which seemed dumb enough for me then but I decided to go ahead and take it with a grain of salt. So I picked out 4 or 5 more which the book nazi shot down immediately.

Apparently a LOT of books are classics. Finally I got a book that a fellow traveler had recommended. The woman had never heard of it so she of course did what was right and told me that I couldn't take it. Now what was wrong?

Apparently this book was much longer than my book, proving that to some people´s literary standards, longer makes better. At this point I almost choked her.

"Well, a couple days ago I traded you guys a book that was longer than this one, so can I get that book back and THEN trade you for this one?" I asked.

"No, because that trade is done and gone," the she-devil replied.

"So essentially I'm working my way down to a piece of paper." I think it's worth mentioning that while this whole thing took place I never once punched her.

I was really offended that if I had wanted to trade my book, which was pretty good, for say, the Scarlet Letter (i.e. the worst book ever written), I would have been turned down. That's just wrong.

Then after all that I tried to check my email and I had to wait for a computer to free up and I sat and sat and sat and I watched people log into 19 different e-mail accounts and then minimize and then open the browser window like it was the most amazing thing ever and I definitely think that Granada's charm has worn off. Now there's an Alaskan who cannot control the volume of his voice telling a stupid "I was so drunk" story and laughing at himself. HAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA it was SO funny, man I was SO drunk, and dude, I should have told her whats what, but she was SO into me.


El Pocket Lint

Friday, November 25, 2005

Letters From Travels: Thanksgiving

I hope everyone's Thanksgiving went well and no one exploded.

I got my celebrating on down here as well and had a pretty cool holiday. I've been hanging out with a classic example of a Californian hippie chick that I met in Ometepe, and we decided we needed to do something fun for Thanksgiving.

First we annihilated a bottle of rum and an awesome box of mango juice. It was pretty good rum, aged 7 years so you know it's good (I guess Nicaraguan rum is famous). Then we took a pinata of a chicken which we decided to pretend was either a turkey or one of the million roosters that has decided sleep in Central America, and we strung it up in our hotel. After dinner, to commemorate all the indians we (white people) slaughtered, we made a feather out of a napkin to put in the blindfold. Then we commenced beating the snot out of it with an old broom handle. Man, that chicken, turkey, rooster thing was ruing the day. It was a pretty sweet Thanksgiving, ended by stumbling around town for an hour or so. Good Times.

El Pocket Lint

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Letters From Travels: What I'm Thankful For

hi, I left San Juan del Sur, and I made it to Isla de Ometepe, and island in a lake formed by 2 conjoined volcanoes. Pretty cool. I'm gonna climb up one tomorrow, but i can't go to the top because it is too active. I might try the other one in a couple of days.

i've come to the knowledge that thanksgiving is coming up so i thought i'd send you all a list of things that I, personally, am thankful for.

I'm Thankful That...

1. nobody criticizes my inconsistent punctuation (will he finish the parenthesis? you never know...)

2. that spiders don't travel in packs

3. I'm not the turkey, free range though it may be

4. I'm in Nicaragua, suckas

5. I'm a rich American in Nicaragua (suckas)

6. that our government's system of checks and balances works so one party can't efectively control all branches of the government. Oh wait. Don't count that one.

6 (again). that presidents can't serve 3 consecutive terms

7. That Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are gonna be parents. I'm giddy with excitement (I really wish "sarcastic" was a font type)

8. I'm not one of the Britsh folk that sailed over here and celebrated the first Thanksgiving. Or one of the Indians they slaughtered in the after-desert party games, for that matter.

9. Finally, that the universal law of Karma will destroy France. And hopefully French Canada too.

El Pocket Lint

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Letters From Travels: Still Not Dead

Good news, guerrillas still have not carried me off to hold me for a ransom, tried to cut my hands off, or even robbed, and then viciously beat me. The worst I've dealt with here in Nicaragua was some woman not having enough change to change an American twenty. Ah how I love the 17 to 1 exchange rate.

The locals here are suspiciously nice. I can barely talk to them but I've still been invited surfing (tomorrow hopefully) by one of them, offered a tour to a cool place for a photo op by another, and bought the equivalent of melted otter pops from another (which taste way better than the straight chemical stuff in the States). I included the otter pop thing for T. If you don't know what an otter pop is, well your life is probably an empty void of nothingness spiraling down a black well of insignificance, but nobody's perfect.

My Spanish lessons are going so-so. I think both me and my teacher are sick of them. 4 hours in one sitting is not the way to take a class. Speaking of which, UNM decided that although I have proof of military service, I don't have enough proof of enough military service. The "defending your country for 7 months" line didn't work either. I'm going to try crying next.

For those of you who are wondering when Ez is meeting me, well I wish I knew. He left today, and since he's traveling the way I did, it could be a while (don't tell him, I don't think he knows how ridiculously far it is).

Also, in my down time (oh wait, that's all day) I decided to come up with my own political party. I'll be running for president on it in 2008. Here's a peek at some of my plans: Bush's old "No Child Left Behind" policy will be slightly altered and become the "Dumb Children Left Behind" policy. As for abortion, it will remain legal but under the condition that any woman undergoing the procedure will be required to wear a giant A on her chest for the rest of her life. The color of the A will be standardized, I'm thinking about a shade of red, possibly scarlet. So remember in 2008 - Size Does Matter, vote Pocket Lint.

El Pocket Lint

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Letters From Travels: El Gringo

I guess I don't have a lot to say. I sit on a beach--in a hammock or in a rocking chair--all day and relax. But I'm sure the rest of you are having an equally good time as I am.


El Pocket Lint

Friday, November 4, 2005

Letters From Travels: On to Nicaragua

I'm in Nicaragua now. at San Juan Del Sur. This is the opposite of Honduras (i.e. NOT the worst place in the world). Here I'm not worried that someone is going to try to kill me with a banana.

I'm going to take some Spanish lessons here and spend the next couple of weeks until Ez comes down. Maybe I'll go check out the turtles. Olive Ridley Turtles nest here during these months. I thought it would be fun to find one turtle and keep pushing her back into the ocean so she couldn't lay her eggs on the beach. It would be fun and educational.

Central American fun fact: Years ago, an American named William Walker invaded Central America. He tried to take over the whole place and failed. Then Nicaragua invited him in to help with a coup, in which he succeded, eventually declaring himself president. Then he tried to take over all of Central America again, got his ass handed to him, and had the US Navy take him in. Then he tried AGAIN to invade Honduras with like 25 supporters, was caught by the Navy again and deported. And then he tried AGAIN, which is past the point of ridiculous, was caught by the British I think, turned over to the Honduran government, and shot.

I think we can all learn a valuable lesson from that story. Invade Nicaragua, not Honduras.

El Pocket Lint

Wednesday, November 2, 2005

Letters From Travels: Uhg, Sick

I finally left Belize after spending a couple of days in the dark, lying on my back, trying to sleep 22 hours a day. I got a pretty bad cold there and wasn't having the greatest time.

I'm in Honduras now and if first impressions are worth anything this is where bad people go when they die. I'm not a huge fan. I'm currently in the capital, Tegucigalpa. My favorite part is that the taxis will just honk at you to get your attention, like you can't see them. And every car is a taxi. So basically all the cars in the city just circle around you and honk. Then some dude told me, on no accounts, to leave my hotel after 7. He seemed to be implying that I would explode if I did, and I don't want to explode.

I'm leaving tomorrow. I can't deal with this. I'm off to Nicaragua, where I hope to be able to tell the difference between the guys that want to help me find my hotel and the guys that want to gnaw on my soul for the rest of eternity.

There's one guy looking at me right now like I owe him money. Oh wait, that's the internet guy. I DO owe him money. I should go.

Still alive though. Thirteen days and counting baby!

El Pocket Lint