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Thread: Expats and Expats

  1. #1
    The Bard of Jinotega MizBrown's Avatar
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    Default Expats and Expats

    Found this in Reedit when Googling around on the problems expats have and problem expats:

    http://www.reddit.com/r/TrueReddit/c...s_go_crazy_in/


    The alternative is down in the comments:
    …..
    "Why would anyone ever buy a house, make an investment, or start a business in a country where they didn't grow up, barely speak the language, and definitely don't understand the laws or culture? It's idiocy, and it's the beginning of every crazy ex-pat sob story - someone took advantage of the fact they had money and didn't know what they were doing, and now they don't trust anyone, and feel trapped in a bad situation."
    …..
    "Exactly how American expats don't go crazy in Central America would be a much shorter post: they keep their investments small, their plans flexible, and try as hard as possible to integrate into the culture rather than act like a perpetual tourist. It's easy, and again, the same exact story from every successful ex-pat I've met."



    I had to walk away from the FB Expat groups because it was like watching people sure that none of the first set of stipulations applied to them and if they were positive enough, it would all work out for them just fine. No point in saying that even in the US, contractors can be problematic and people can conceal serious defects in houses they're trying to sell to you.

    I also realized that a subset of whiny gringos are gringos who whine about other gringos. .

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    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Expats and Expats

    Guy makes some good points, sounds like he had a wild ride.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

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    Active TRN Member RGV AG's Avatar
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    Default Re: Expats and Expats

    Did you all read some of the comments below the article? Wow.

    Nice and interesting find Mizbrown. I was raised an expat, well to some degree my dad was local but my mom was Gringa. Ironically it was always my father that wanted to leave Mexico and my mother that loved it and did not want to go back to the states. The only way she agreed was that it had to be on the border with Mexico. One thing I picked up early on is that it was better to go local in terms of friends and such, some Expats, not all but some, are fleeing from something. That something is not necessarily a legal problem, but could be anything relating to a skewed sense of societal belonging. I have not met too many bonifide cool Expats in Nicaragua, I am sure there are many but I just have not met that many. Like Mz. Brown implies, one gets tired of hearing the complaints and comparisons.

    Sadly enough I have also found that many Expats I have run into here and in Mexico, where I have spent the bulk of my time outside of the US, most of my total time actually, also tend to have substance issues, either booze or dope. Don't get me wrong I love a fun drunk more than anyone and if it weren't for hangovers I would be one myself. But being a rummy in a land of vultures is not a wise thing to do. And too many of the Expats I run into think that the Expat lifestyle is basically getting to relive Spring Break 1966 at a reduced rate. No way to go through life in my opinion.

    One thing, I have met several Expats that ended up in Nicaragua for work and business, and almost to a one they have all done very well and engrained themselves into society very well. That is one thing about Nicaragua, it is a more open society than the other LatAm countries I have spent a lot of time in.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Expats and Expats

    The article is not the reality for most ex-pats.

    True, many will return home, having lost some money, but after having an adventure they would not has gotten if they stayed home. So many small (and big) things can alter your perceptions. Getting robbed might be a game changer for some.

    It comes down to: what do you want to do with your life? You can do some interesting things in CA, and like the big frog in a small pond, change a few lives for the better in the process. You could probably do the same in the US, volunteering for any number of groups, doing as much good there as here. But, it wouldn't be as much fun, nor would it be anything like the adventure, nor would it be the challenge of learning to communicate in a new language, learning new customs, and maybe building something of value.

    Everyone is here for a different reason. A few are unabashed mongerers (although countries other than Nicaragua would seem to be better targets); some want to drink quietly and cheaply; others just like it here, the culture and people. A few have "plans", that last hurrah before they die. It's the journey for them.

    Living here is a never changing landscape, especially if you attempt to do it on your terms (I want it my way and I want it NOW -- has to bring a smile -if not ROFL- to anyone who has spent some time in Nicaragua). Whining? It's part of the human condition. The wealthy in the US probably do the most whining. We whine first, and a few of us then address the problem that irks us. I finally found A1 steak sauce at El Hogar. PriceSmart doesn't stock it, nor does La Colonia. A small victory in a never ending war. Now I just need to find a decent steak to put my A1 on. It might require fattening my own beef.

    People have struck out for new horizons since we came down from the trees and started living in caves. It's who we are. Germans used to be notorious for settling in the oddest corners of the planet, starting a business, mating with a local girl. I don't find it odd, I find it natural. Living your life day to day, in a safe and comfortable environment, with everything you need at your fingertips is: BORING, BORING, BORING! You might as well cash out early.

    I don't know anything about the site, but I already like some of the posters:

    " . . .This is reddit. There is only one joke per nationality. Germans are secret Nazis. Canadians are constantly apologising. French people always surrender. Irish people are always drunk. English people are always upper class. Americans are not aware of any country other than their own. Japanese people are all weird. . . ."

  5. #5
    Viejo del Foro bikingo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Expats and Expats

    The era plays a factor as well. The reasons many came to a country like Nicaragua were very different twenty or thirty years ago are very different than they are today

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    The Bard of Jinotega MizBrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Expats and Expats

    Quote Originally Posted by bikingo View Post
    The era plays a factor as well. The reasons many came to a country like Nicaragua were very different twenty or thirty years ago are very different than they are today
    I'm seeing a lot of people who, as an expat in Honduras described it, expect here to be like Akron, Ohio, only cheaper and warmer. Fifteen years ago, International Living touted Honduras; now they're touting Nicaragua. Saw something that claimed Vietnam was a great place for living on $400 a month, but the rentals the site were also touting were $500 to $1200 a month. I can find things for that anywhere in the US except the major cities on the coasts.

    There's the reality of people retiring here on small pensions because they'd be poor in the US and making that work because they have to or getting help from family and friends on getting back to the US if it doesn't work out. There's the fantasy that people with considerably more money will pick here and that the help will be speaking English in five years, and the re-sale price will be four times what the initial buying price was.

    The article on Granada real estate here was particularly appropriate. Move here to live here, not to flip property.

    A lot of people don't understand that if a source says that house prices in Nicaragua have quadrupled, the next question needs to be, "But did they sell?" If I bought a house in Jinotega, I would understand that I might have it on the market for years before I sold it because that's what I've seen here walking around the city. Rentals in the $100 to $250 range go fast if the owners price them right for what they are. Rentals that are on delusional thinking don't get rented any time soon. And it's not Akron, Ohio, or some nice suburb of Charlotte, NC, and yeah, there are still hustlers and grifters moving in, perhaps even more because the new wave of migrants is so naive. Recent one was "I'll just come down here and hire a contractor and then let him build the house while I settle my affairs in the US."

    Expect a real uptick in Gringo hustlers and grifters if all these spectacularly naive people do move here. Most North Americans don't know foreign languages that well and that they've never really experienced a different culture (which one can do in the US even), and this is a very different culture. I think people with some experience with poor places and foreign places tend to know what the gotchas are; people who don't have this experience, not so much.

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    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Expats and Expats

    The "cheap" living is what always cracks me up (because most of the articles are selling something pricey). Like Mizz Brown always says, and I know well, there are cheaper places in rural America, and some of them have a decent climate.

    Was just thinking about it and with one month's rent at the last place I was living in the States I could pay 18+ months of my utilities here. That is the kind of stuff that you always see in the articles, but is comparing Onions to Asparagus, no correlation.

    For retirees wanting to downsize, they can do ok here. Have met several older guys and some gals traveling around on pensions and they seem pretty wise, rent them a place for a month or 2 till they get bored then move on.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
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    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: Expats and Expats

    Yep - I think Chilo would considers herself an "Ex-pat" in her birth country now, more Canadian than Nica. KWP - For that she is truly sorry.. Believe me.. If you apologise to a dog that just walked between your feet making you trip, and you say sorry to it, you pass the Eh! test..

    I would never "Leave" Canada - It is my mess/success and I must fix/savour it..

    The Class observation is an astute one. I find people treat me with unearned respect solely b/c I am white. Something I am quite uncomfortable with. Conversely a minority treat me with unfounded disdain b/c of another Chele who has wronged them in the past.
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    The Bard of Jinotega MizBrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Expats and Expats

    Quote Originally Posted by bill_bly_ca View Post
    Yep - I think Chilo would considers herself an "Ex-pat" in her birth country now, more Canadian than Nica. KWP - For that she is truly sorry.. Believe me.. If you apologise to a dog that just walked between your feet making you trip, and you say sorry to it, you pass the Eh! test..

    I would never "Leave" Canada - It is my mess/success and I must fix/savour it..

    The Class observation is an astute one. I find people treat me with unearned respect solely b/c I am white. Something I am quite uncomfortable with. Conversely a minority treat me with unfounded disdain b/c of another Chele who has wronged them in the past.
    I like Jinotega because there's not much respect for anyone for being white here except occasionally with an old contra lady. Not much disrespect either, though.

    One expat had a non-US expat married to a middle class Nicaraguan speculating that he'd eventually be killed here. He died of natural causes, but he was pretty much an ass with Nicaraguans, and hired three different people who robbed him. Every whitey in Jinotega who assumed superiority to Nicaraguans has been played. One ended up the jail twice -- both times for things that would have meant jail time in the US, too. Another one murdered his interpreter -- and thought he could play a government lawyer, unfortunately for him, a government lawyer with graduate work in psychology. Do not mix an insanity plea with trying to impress someone on the government team with how cool and smart you are. Fifteen years, probably will serve seven from what I've heard.

    Anyone looking for Nicaraguan deference to your white skin, do not come to Jinotega.

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    Viejo del Foro Just Plain John Wayne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Expats and Expats

    Now this thread has taken a turn and not nessisisarealy for the worst.

    I have never been to my knowolage been given Deference because of my white skin, and niether to those Black Gringos that I have met here.

    I have been given it because they highly respect a US education and experiances in the fields I am fimilar with and my work ethic.

    I am quite the inventor, the one who can figure a way to do something with what is on hand instead of listening to a local cry No Hay and call it done; whereas I make things happen.

    Besides being a lot like Cookshoe, Handsome, Charming, and quite Witty.

    But years ago I was told by several friends.. Get ya a local woman and make some babies, we need for you to improve on the race here a bit. That is about the extent of the raceisum I have seen here.
    To be called a "Has Been" I must surmise, is much Greater than to be called a "Nevah Been"... JW...



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    The Bard of Jinotega MizBrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Expats and Expats

    Quote Originally Posted by Just Plain John Wayne View Post
    Now this thread has taken a turn and not nessisisarealy for the worst.

    I have never been to my knowolage been given Deference because of my white skin, and niether to those Black Gringos that I have met here.

    I have been given it because they highly respect a US education and experiances in the fields I am fimilar with and my work ethic.

    I am quite the inventor, the one who can figure a way to do something with what is on hand instead of listening to a local cry No Hay and call it done; whereas I make things happen.

    Besides being a lot like Cookshoe, Handsome, Charming, and quite Witty.

    But years ago I was told by several friends.. Get ya a local woman and make some babies, we need for you to improve on the race here a bit. That is about the extent of the raceisum I have seen here.

    People here in Jinotega have already done their outcrossing -- Germans, Spanish, some Aztecs who were on a trading trip when they got the bad news about Cortez and didn't go home, some Anglos from Morgan's time to the present, some people from the coast. I think people do respect people who can do something other than scrounge up some untested ideas from the web. Most people change not from lectures, but from examples or from tips when they've made a smart stab at fixing the problem themselves, or even a stupid stab.

    The guy who was borrowing my screwdrivers and DVD drive fixes digital cameras by buying parts for them and figuring out how to install them. I didn't teach him how to do that.

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    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Expats and Expats

    Expat. The name offends me. I have two ex-wives, but I'm wedded to my patria by birth and years of acculturation. It can't be X-ed out of my being, it's part of my identity. Memories - of JFK getting taken out in Texas and the Trade Towers collapsing - don't get erased by living elsewhere and speaking another language. Even though I find the difference in thinking through another language refreshing. And I enjoy re-examining the thousand little cultural habits learned & perform subconsciously per force by becoming submersed in a different - and totally viable - culture. I'm American and I travel in the Americas to become an anthropologist of the self.

    As a single traveling fugitive of the great northern techno-industrial complex, I met a variety of English-speaking foreigners in Central America & Mexico. Much was inevitable; we used the same guidebook - Lonely Planet - and thus stayed & ate at the same places. It made for interesting tripping but isolated me from the cultures that surrounded me. I saw their company as a crutch for half-wayfarers. With time in the latin elsewhere my eyes opened to the beauty and sensitivity of the local women. One especially became the woman to share my life with, my Nicaraguan sweetheart.

    From that point on the entirety of experiencing Nicaragua & LAm changed for me. I see the various foreigners traveling through, mostly pairs or groups, but interact with none. Those living here I don't know, not that I intentionally avoid any, it just happens. These blogs are the extent of my 'contacts' with the English-speaking world, and, as you know, I'm an infrequent visitor, not a regular, except while in the States & wired. I enjoy being disconnected here as an opportunity to read & contemplate, to breathe & luxuriate in a bit of creative loafing.

    Renting suits me better than owning here. There are many factors. First is my belief in the primacy of the unreal estate of being. But, for the_real_Nicaragua, there's the recent history of property confiscations by Ortega & the Sandinistas, which has bled over into the current situation where, as I read, half the property titles in Nicaragua are in dispute or disputable. Courts & lawyers are better avoided.

    The reddit author NoblePeasant5 wrote last year: "The reality of life as an expat in Central America is far grimmer than I can adequately express ..." That certainly hasn't been the case for me. It's been more agreeable & rewarding for me here in Nicaragua than I can adequately express. Much depends on one's expectations and flexibility (physical & intellectual), and on one's openness to adventure, and for all that, at times, to discomfort & insecurity. Still, I ought not misrepresent my experiences: I sought life in the cities, the more civilized parts of the country. I'm no farmer, no pioneer, nor a frontiersman and large parts of the CAm-4 countries still offer plenty of 'wild west' flavor (homesteaders, seeming lawlessness, livestock rustlers, garden raiders, wives as chattel) for those who seek it. Just don't forget: though it's mostly accessible on horseback & by foot, and appears 'undeveloped', people have been living there for the past few centuries (or more).
    I never met a Semite I didn't like.

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    House SOB Little Corn Tom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Expats and Expats

    Quote Originally Posted by Daddy-YO View Post

    I enjoy being disconnected here as an opportunity to read & contemplate, to breathe & luxuriate in a bit of creative loafing.

    .

    So tell us more about you and your life wherever it is.
    Life's different here ... It's a whole 'nother pace.

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    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Expats and Expats

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Corn Tom View Post
    So tell us more about you and your life wherever it is.
    Sure LCT. My location is as stated in the side bar, one or 'tuther, half the time.

    I'm a TRN groupie. Bigh Jonh runs a tight ship, even with another captain - JPJW (TRN's Norman Mailer of the tropical seas) - aboard. I miss reading Thunderdial's posts; he seemed to have faded into the shadows as soon as the post-separation fun began. El Doc is missed too; he fired up the bile in several (not as eloquent) others with his leftie rewrites of current history. The lengthy conversations he & the Aggie RGV had here were truly educational. And Tres Frijoles gone too, just when we were really getting to know his Bro 'n-law, he disappeared into the embassy crowd. (After I bought the book he coauthored "Living Abroad in Nicaragua".) Catahoula fan's scrumpious dishes cause me to drool on my keyboard. And FisherCigarman - I just know he's hanging back a notch, too flush with success to post patter here. In steps MzBrwn from the land where Jino-Tony's ghost hovers; she can nail some gems, but put on your miner's cap and grab pick & shovel cause you're going to have to dig to find 'em. And what great fortune for TRN to have a real Canadian, Bill_Bly_the_science_guy. When I think of the Earth spinning in space with North on top, and cool, thoughtful Canada overlooking the Americas, all seems right with the world. Randude must have found a good woman. KeyWestPirate is here & there, been everywhere and is moving in big time. I await Marlies next posting though she's long since moved off that most Eastward piece of Nicaragua.

    There have been/are so many others (only the web meister knows for sure who's active or not). One I met up with: JackMcG. Some of y'all called him 'Yak'.

    Unquestionably the backbone/funnybone of today's TRN are it's handsome folk heros: Captain Just Plain John Wayne & the share-cropper, dog-whisperer Cookshow, out there in the so called Autonomous regions. With them TRN becomes flesh, their friends, their neighbors & themselves real people. JPJW, with one foot in the past, brings his ol' shipmates alive. And patient, industrious Cookshow, with both feet firmly on the good earth and hands busy building something, teaches us that day-to-day life is an adventure, if only we'd open our eyes & ears & minds.

    For all that, I'm a TRN groupie. You betcha.

    And you LCT - why the 'House SOB' tagline? Surely you've mellowed, no?
    I never met a Semite I didn't like.

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    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Expats and Expats

    You mentioning Tony, I nearly spit out my drink laughing. Can you imagine he and Mizz Brown in the same town.

    Tony and I had a lot of difference but we actually got cordial and messaged some, never got to meet him though. He had an interesting outlook on life and things and pretty much knew how things were going to play out, but he had a good time before it went bad.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
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    Active TRN Member RGV AG's Avatar
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    Default Re: Expats and Expats

    Daddy:
    Wonderful post, I always enjoy yours as well.

    I actually just hang around waiting on Magicbat to return, my goodness no poster on any of the boards I have frequented, not even t-sips, have pissed me off more than that woman. I am ready to pounce.

    I do miss conversing with Jason, you probably would have liked to have heard some of the in person debates we had. El Doc/Jason is a good guy, several on here got sideways with him about several things, but I never did as like you said his re-writing of history did need a tad or two of adjustment. I lost touch with him in my temporary separation from Nicaragua and during his Nica exit, I heard he was in Mexico and I hope he is doing well. But as an Aggie History Major, the easiest degree plan at my fine university and more interesting than Poultry Science (which is much harder), I had an obligation to join in the fray occasionally when he went a little too left wing for me.

    Lot's of good folks on here who I have met, amongst them the very hospitable and nice Roger and Melissa. I need to head out to see them soon and take them some whiskey. Good people.

  17. #17
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: Expats and Expats

    Quote Originally Posted by RGV AG View Post
    I do miss conversing with Jason, you probably would have liked to have heard some of the in person debates we had.
    He is on Google+
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    Active TRN Member RGV AG's Avatar
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    Default Re: Expats and Expats

    Billy:
    Don't make fun of me, but what is Google+?

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    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Expats and Expats

    Pretty sure they got me set on Google -. Think it is the default.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
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    TRN's fiesty redhead catahoula fan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Expats and Expats

    I need to head out to see them soon and take them some whiskey.
    Bring it on, Ike! We sure do you miss you...and it's not just the whiskey, although that is some fine sh*t! This weekend, we've got a farmer's market to participate in down in SJDS, but my next 3 weekends are free...also, football season starts in July, so I'll be inviting you to some tailgating!
    "Patience is a virtue, but persistence to the point of success is a blessing."

  21. #21
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: Expats and Expats

    Quote Originally Posted by RGV AG View Post
    Billy:
    Don't make fun of me, but what is Google+?
    Google+ was google's attempt at Fhaze book.. He posted as recently as April.. Will PM you the link..
    ==================================================
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  22. #22
    House SOB Little Corn Tom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Expats and Expats

    Quote Originally Posted by Daddy-YO View Post
    Sure LCT. My location is as stated in the side bar, one or 'tuther, half the time.

    I'm a TRN groupie. Bigh Jonh runs a tight ship, even with another captain - JPJW (TRN's Norman Mailer of the tropical seas) - aboard. I miss reading Thunderdial's posts; he seemed to have faded into the shadows as soon as the post-separation fun began. El Doc is missed too; he fired up the bile in several (not as eloquent) others with his leftie rewrites of current history. The lengthy conversations he & the Aggie RGV had here were truly educational. And Tres Frijoles gone too, just when we were really getting to know his Bro 'n-law, he disappeared into the embassy crowd. (After I bought the book he coauthored "Living Abroad in Nicaragua".) Catahoula fan's scrumpious dishes cause me to drool on my keyboard. And FisherCigarman - I just know he's hanging back a notch, too flush with success to post patter here. In steps MzBrwn from the land where Jino-Tony's ghost hovers; she can nail some gems, but put on your miner's cap and grab pick & shovel cause you're going to have to dig to find 'em. And what great fortune for TRN to have a real Canadian, Bill_Bly_the_science_guy. When I think of the Earth spinning in space with North on top, and cool, thoughtful Canada overlooking the Americas, all seems right with the world. Randude must have found a good woman. KeyWestPirate is here & there, been everywhere and is moving in big time. I await Marlies next posting though she's long since moved off that most Eastward piece of Nicaragua.

    There have been/are so many others (only the web meister knows for sure who's active or not). One I met up with: JackMcG. Some of y'all called him 'Yak'.

    Unquestionably the backbone/funnybone of today's TRN are it's handsome folk heros: Captain Just Plain John Wayne & the share-cropper, dog-whisperer Cookshow, out there in the so called Autonomous regions. With them TRN becomes flesh, their friends, their neighbors & themselves real people. JPJW, with one foot in the past, brings his ol' shipmates alive. And patient, industrious Cookshow, with both feet firmly on the good earth and hands busy building something, teaches us that day-to-day life is an adventure, if only we'd open our eyes & ears & minds.

    For all that, I'm a TRN groupie. You betcha.

    And you LCT - why the 'House SOB' tagline? Surely you've mellowed, no?


    I guess my tagline is a bit outdated and indeed, I have mellowed over the last 7 years. Just retired, turned 70, sold my house and moved, and am struggling with the concept of now building another home on Little Corn….but I digress.

    The “House SOB” tagline came to me one morning after spanking either Dr. Demento or El Doc….I can’t remember which one.

    DD pissed me off because he was a distraction to our main focus which was Nicaragua. All DD wanted to do was cut and paste American right wing propaganda with no relation to Nicaragua. His posts belonged on some other site, not ours. The funny thing is that I agreed politically with his posts but simply felt they were not appropriate. He could not understand or agree with anything I said because I am an atheist. He simply could not comprehend that we were in political agreement because I did not fit his right wing mold that included religion.

    El Doc pissed me off because most of his posts were designed to re write history from his extreme left wing point of view with “facts” that would take a history major a year to research the truth behind his arguments. I must say that El Doc could write a great story about some of his experiences and I always enjoyed them. I found that I was feeling guilty about ragging on him so much and during one of my visits to Nicaragua, so I made it a point to meet up with him in Granada with my (left wing) sister and brother in law. We all came to the same conclusion after 2 hours. He was (and if still alive is) an arrogant asshole.

    In my opinion, JPJW and Cookshow are the backbone and substance of this site because of their daily contributions about the day to day living in Nicaragua. Life is different here and they describe it in their own unique way which almost always includes humor, insight and sensitivity. KWP is running a very close third. His posts are informative and personal…. A great combination.

    I miss Tres Frijoles BIL stories and have always wondered why he disappeared. Figured it was embassy related.

    Catahoula Fan and Roger are the absolute best. I just wish that Melissa would write more stories as she surely has them.

    Marlies is back in Connecticut for reasons unknown (to me) other than it takes a hell of a woman and a hell of a relationship to make a go of it on the DAC……Something that Down South Bob and his wife have recently accomplished. Kudos to them.

    I never met the Bard of Jinotega but I wish I had. His left wing rants were annoying to me but after a while you got the idea that there was a real, caring person under all that stuff. Sorry to see him go.

    Miz Brown (or I) must be mellowing as well. Her posts seem to be less like “El Doc“ and more personal and meaningful. Maybe it has something to do with the other site shutting down, but for some reason people just seem to be getting along better now…. Or maybe it is me.

    While I am writing this post, I would like to say that the most interesting posts are the real life adventures and day to day experiences. Maybe they are mundane to the rest of the world, but they are interesting to anyone attracted to this site. If you keep a Nicaraguan diary…keep it here!

    Also keep in mind that none of this would be possible with out John. He keeps us in line and keeps the site available and functioning. And he ain’t getting rich doing it. This site is a labor of love.

    So, please, everyone ….. your day to day experiences are interesting to us all, so keep them coming.
    Life's different here ... It's a whole 'nother pace.

  23. #23
    Active TRN Member RGV AG's Avatar
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    Default Re: Expats and Expats

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Corn Tom View Post
    He could not understand or agree with anything I said because I am an atheist. He simply could not comprehend that we were in political agreement because I did not fit his right wing mold that included religion.
    Helluva post LCT.....Well said. But one note, don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining, I ain't ever knowed a t-sipper that believed in God.

    Actually DDT and I got into it a little bit about the whole A&M t.u. thing in PM's, he got his dander up a time or two with me, and I don't come on the interwebs to fight anyone, as I do that all day everyday at the sweatshop, so I don't pay the antagonistic stuff much never mind. With the one exception of Magicbat, that woman was crazier that a shit house rat, she did jangle my bells in poor way.

    I will have to post some stories of my 22 years of working in Latin American sweatshops, if you all remember correctly that was where El Doc and I first tangled on this forum, I lurked for a long time and joined when he was ragging on the whole slave wages and all the other crap he spewed about that topic. Ironically, my politics, if I want to call them that, are probably much more in tune with Jason's and I agreed with some of his stances, I did not agree with his picking and choosing of some historical anecdotes and occurrences to back his positions. Either get all sides of the deal out there or refrain from using that example, selective proof is no proof.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Expats and Expats

    Awfully cordial up in here, like the calm before a storm. J/K lots of very well written sentiments here, nice to read. It's always a good day when you hit the new post button and lots of threads pop up. I appreciate everyone that puts the time and info in, and as always, much Thanks to John for holding it all together. Wish I had more to contribute, just don't get to spend enough time in Nica Land so I'm living vicariously through others.

  25. #25
    The Bard of Jinotega MizBrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Expats and Expats

    I've got friends who I don't agree with politically, so best we don't talk politics and this site seems to keep that controlled. My personal opinion is that balancing various people's needs is better than trying to lay some man-made theory (free market, communism, libertarianism, whatever) on a species of extremely clever and devious ape like our own. Was a rather ironic leftist in my college days, rather amused that some of the most privileged students in the world, in some cases heirs to considerable money, were all about collectivizing the workers and helping the people.

    I think Tony was the Sage of Jinotega. I'm the Bard (have committed poetry and read at a couple of places for pay, and it's my middle name) .


    Agree about the personal experiences. I have a net friend who lives in Japan, married to a Japanese woman, and an acute observer of just ordinary Japanese life. What tourism he does are to sites that are Japanese tourist sites. Been there since he was 22 and knows the country without having any dislike of the US -- and has a Japanese radio license. Same for an Australian friend in London. The exotic fades; what's left is real and generally more complex and interesting than the merely different.

    It also helps that this site has kill-files. I figure if anyone I've killfiled has anything really interesting to say, someone else will quote whatever it is.

    Lately, my life has been full of fish -- and I have photographs. I've got Convict Cichlids caught out of Lake Apanas, and they've been breeding like rabbits and the large female guppies have been killing them, except for these. Got the large female guppies out of the 130 gallon tank. These were big enough to avoid being killed. The guppies weren't eating the other cichlid fry, just killing them early in the morning. I didn't think guppies had that in them. The plan is to keep some fry to replace the current two pairs or to have for trading for other fish.

    These are some of my babies: [IMG]ConvictsinJune-1 by rbb_56, on Flickr[/IMG]


    The adults with month old or a bit younger fry look like this:

    [IMG]Convicts with Fry by rbb_56, on Flickr[/IMG]


    My politically incorrect joke about the initial group was that you could tell they were Nicaraguans because one of the male (the bigger fish above) mated with one female, left her for this one, and another male very patiently courted a young fish (one of the better mannered male cichlids I've ever worked with) and is now with the one who was seduced and abandoned when her mate found a bigger female. Got rid of the fish that couldn't hold territories and am now down to two pairs which seems like very few fish in a 80 inch by 20 by 19.5 inch 130 gallon tank, but which works behaviorally.

    They live for around five years. My other tanks are a low ball 13 gallon tank that I'm developing as a tank for plants that grow in and out of the water, and a 30 gallon tank that's currently housing the murderous guppies and will be a quarantine tank and perhaps later a tank for some native livebearers and a small cichlid pair (one that's not as aggressive as the convicts).

    Even I thought MagicBat was nuts. To clarify, people over puberty are not children but people over 50 who think a hot Latin under 20 is really into them are generally exaggerating, though not always.

    RGV AG: When I live in Virginia, the county assistant manager loaned me a development manual. A factory pays better wages and messes up people's heads less than tourism or being a servant. One of my temp jobs was at one of the textile mills in Martinsville, and I saw that people were with their mates in those, that they basically had to get the work done with or without smiling and then went home. The pay was better than the pay in most tourism jobs, with less servility. I taught people who were working in the mills later, and some of their jobs paid better than the jobs they were training for (the for-profits lie about the pay they can get with the skills they're acquiring). I can't blame them if they wanted to work in cleaner offices, but one of my first assignments in a human development class was to have them ask local employers directly what they paid for the skills they were acquiring. I was eventually fired. I don't like seeing people who don't have that much strip-mined for what they do have, or put into perpetual debt that wipes out their gains.

    If people do more efficient agriculture that doesn't require as many people to work the land, then the people who aren't needed for agricultural work have to have some jobs waiting for them. In the US, factory jobs pay better than travel industry jobs. The minimum for travel industry jobs here is $5 a day, and anything better requires investing significant time learning a foreign language. I haven't calculated the cost/benefit ratio there, but for English-speaks in the US, knowing Spanish fluently earns about 2% more a year.

    One of the funny ones was local academics at the Reynolds Homestead Learning Center complaining that factory work had spoiled the country people. They were buying cars and wasting their money on televisions and stuff.

    Reality, more complex than anyone's theories about it. One old country woman said the real advantage of factory work was having money and being able to leave a bad marriage, being able to get on a train (before 1943) and going somewhere else. I knew two woman who'd raised their families on factory wages, maybe some food stamps, after their husbands left them. The first factories were in town, so people could live without cars.

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