I walked to Pali today

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My wife had some lunch meat brought up from Managua by a cousin who lives close to that Bavarian Deli place. However, even after going out shopping twice with her cousin after she got here, she still failed to procure sandwich bread, mustard, or cheese.

As lunch time came and went, and the farthest the "What are we eating for lunch" conversation went was that my daughter wasn't hungry and my wife was just going to eat leftovers. I didn't want the lunch meat to go bad (it tends to do that rather quickly) so I wanted the rest of the materials to make a sandwich. It didn't seem like rocket science, but apparently it was asking a lot.

My wife suggested I ask her aunt if I could borrow her truck to go to the Super las Segovias. I felt that was more trouble than it was worth, since my mindset is that we came here so we wouldn't have to drive every darn place gringo style. If we can walk, let's walk, for God's sake. Well, She Who Must Be Obeyed, in her delicate condition, shouldn't be riding in bouncy vehicles on washboard city streets, so the idea of "living like a Nica" isn't exactly happening all around.

She suggested I could walk to Pali, which isn't as far as Segovia. I asked her where it was.

"You know when you turn right to go to the bank corner? You turn left instead."

I racked my brain, trying to picture taking a right turn to the bank corner. "No, I don't know. Where is it from the bank corner?"

"Instead of turning right, you turn left and go up."

"No, I don't want to know where to go from 'instead of turning right,' I want to know from the bank corner."

"Well, I don't know. You go up," she said, her voice rising and her arm gesturing flamboyantly. Apparently she thinks sound volume increases comprehension.

"Up?" I pointed to the ceiling. "What's that in terms of north and south?"

She turned to the maid and made some remark about my foreign navigational skills. "South, then," she said, turning to the maid to ask her. The maid concurred.

I got up to leave, and she said, "You'll have to go take money out, they don't take cards."

Rolling my eyes, I stomped out the door and down, or is it up, the sidewalk.

It was cool but dreadfully humid, and the streets were a little less full of traffic than usual. Still a lot of people out, though. I went to the bank corner, making special note of my lack of right turns to arrive there, while mentally calculating how much bread, mustard, and cheese could possibly cost in pesos. I figured two hundred was way more than enough. So I took out five hundred just to have some extra walking around money. I already had the two hundred in my wallet, but figured more wouldn't hurt anything and it would save another trip to the ATM.

The ATM spit out a C$500 note. My heart sank. Some stores are reluctant to, or unable to, give change for large bills. What the hell, we'll see what happens, I thought.

I found Pali roughly where I was told it would be, which is "up" the main commercial street (south, to you and me). Past Optica Munkel where my daughter just got her first pair of glasses (U$122, exam included, one week turnaround). Stepping inside Pali, it felt like I was entering an oven. The appearance of the place was like a consignment store for food. Ugly place. I got my stuff and went to the express line.

Nope, he wouldn't change the C$500 note. But I had the amount in small bills so I paid and got the hell out of there.

Heading home, I counted the blocks. Spotted three young guys with unusually dark, but not African, skin, in "homey" costumes complete with idiotic looking baseball cap turned to that special angle. I avoided them in case they were off-duty pandilleros or something. They turned where I turned; I crossed to the other side of the street and lost them.

So Pali is three blocks one way, four the other way, about a half mile's walk from the house. In Hicksville, we walk our dog that distance. And Super Las Segovias is only a couple blocks farther and probably worth the extra effort. The bread from Pali was stale and the American cheese was flavorless, but I was too hungry to care.

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  1. tresfrijoles's Avatar
    Most of the pulperias here in Managua sell pan de molde. Esteli isn't there yet? Usually if I am too lazy to walk to the Pali 2 blocks away from me, and want to make a sandwich, I will buy the bars of bread, and either crema de queso, or queso para freir, tomatos and mustard can easily be found in the pulperias as well. Only thing missing is the lettuce.

    My trick to the ATM's used to be to ask for an extra 100 or 200 cordobas above 500 or 1000, that way if the machine gave 500's then I would get some 100's for my small purchase, however now that the machinces are dispensing 200 notes, and at times they are just as useful as 500 notes in small purchases, its hard to say what you will get. I have found certain machines that now only give 200's and 100's rather than 500's, so that helps.
  2. Jonh's Avatar
    I figured pulperia bread would be less likely to be fresh than supermarket bread. Depends on the individual store, I guess.

    I was going to try the same thing at the ATM, get either 400 or 600, maybe with 700 they'll have to spit out at least one 100 peso note. It's like Vegas, the house always wins!

    I did get to a panederia later yesterday to buy picos and cinnamon rolls, and they changed my 500 no questions or rolling of eyes.
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