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Thread: Granada: Sunday Morning Coming Down

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    Default Granada: Sunday Morning Coming Down

    I knew something wasn't right when I went to retrieve the truck from the parking lot just before 10AM. There were PN on every corner, several of them women, and they smiled at me. Scary.

    I left the truck across from Kathy's Waffle House and went back to the hotel by way of Rapido y Furioso for a couple of croissants and coffee. The French guy who owns the place has been here 25 years, we had an interesting conversation.

    There was a big tourism bus stuck trying to negotiate a turn. It looked out of place.

    On the way back to Kathy's for breakfast we saw three more tourism buses, and then the horde of shorts, tennis shoes, and baseball caps . The cruise ship was in town.

    Well, not literally, but as soon as the canal is finished there will be a cruise ship dock at the foot of the Calzada. Construction started in 2015. It shouldn't be much longer. Big Wang promised five years. They won't have to bus them in from SJdS .

    The transformation was amazing . The deserted Parque Central filled with neat rows of vendors selling . . . . whatever. The horse carriages were again lined up in front of the Hotel Colon. Beggars everywhere,, it sucks when you spend more money on beggars than beer.

    We decided to stay a couple more days in Granada. I have business in Managua, it's not that far

    We moved to the Estrada, across from Kathy's,,, $20 a night more, but an exponential increase in ambient quality. A really nice place. I recommend it.
    I like a hotel who names their rooms. We're in La Musa.
    The menu of the hotel restaurant ,, The Bistro Estrada, is truly impressive, including quiche, escargot, chateabriand, beef grenadine, but . . Its closed .
    Pricey: Los Ultimate Big Five is $58.95

    So, the story of Granada is complex. The sheer number of cruise ship passengers means there are some winners. The hotels are empty but Kathy's was full, the crowd was Nica, but the staff spoke excellent English , food was great. Server kept our coffee cups filled without asking.
    We could have been in the US
    They were using Krusteaz to make their waffles.

    So,, there will be winners and losers over the next two years,, if it drags on that long,, and not just in Granada.

  2. #2
    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Granada: Sunday Morning Coming Down

    Were you wearing your cleanest dirty shirt?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Granada: Sunday Morning Coming Down

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonh View Post
    Were you wearing your cleanest dirty shirt?
    I'm saving one clean shirt for Intur / Migración.

    I want to make a good impression.
    Clean shirt, freshly shaved, the kind of Gringo Nicaragua wants .

    Except,,, who knows what Nicaragua wants???
    It depends on who you ask.

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    Default Re: Granada: Sunday Morning Coming Down

    The Marines have clean shirts and a fresh shave.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Granada: Sunday Morning Coming Down

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonh View Post
    The Marines have clean shirts and a fresh shave.
    It's interesting. The people will open up a bit if given time, and a safe environment. Walking back from the Parqueo with the Estrada's young receptionist, she conceded that "we've gone from one dictatorship to another".

    Whether most Nicas would welcome the Marines,, I don't know. Maybe in 6 months. There is still plenty of cash, people are spending, there was a light crowd on the Calzada tonight (Monday).

    We are the only guests at Estrada, a very nice boutique hotel. The room is huge, and the bathroom is bigger, with a small patio open to the outside.

    Breakfast was served this morning by a young guy in a chef's uniform. The place has standards. Despite the lack of business it is well kept. The lights are on, the fountain tinkles.

    The temp is perfect, balmy evenings with a breeze off the lake. A perfect time to visit Granada.

    I had a couple of astonishing experiences in Managua: my car permit expired on the 12th, I was there but the aduana office was closed. I explained that to the young woman, after she told me that I was liable for a $50 fine for being late,, and she picked up the phone, had a brief conversation with someone, and said, "get here ahead of the deadline next time".

    The other astonishment was the $77 lunch at the Crowne Plaza. We had four glasses of the "house wine" and I neglected to ask the price. $9 glass, but it was a decent Malbec. There was one other couple dining, place was quiet.

    I then discovered that Nica 4 through Masaya to Granada can be accessed at the Hugo Chavez roundabout,, and the trip back was stress free and uneventful.

    All in all, a very good day.

    The parque central in Granada was completely deserted, and the hotel Colón had pulled all the chairs and tables in.

    There is a small PN presence, but not overwhelming, which probably kept the vagos from bothering us as we strolled the Calzada.

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    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Granada: Sunday Morning Coming Down

    We only spent a day in the ghosttown with its near empty Calzada, but discovered a rather fine, new Israeli restaurant labeled Pita Pita serving fresh warm pita bread with hummus, tabouli, stuffed grape-leaves and more. A bottle of good Chilean carmenere was $18.

    It was surprising to see Hotel El Alhambra had been sold and converted into a semi-flop house. Sign of the times. We set aside our budget to stay in the Chamorro family’s hotel Colon (one other guest). Worth it. Their pool was crystal clear and their breakfast by it may be the only place in town that competes with Cathy’s for food quality/quantity (not variety). Granada was too sad a place to visit for more than a day.

    Quote Originally Posted by KeyWestPirate View Post
    my car permit expired on the 12th,
    Only 30 days? I thought car permits for tourist had returned to 90 days, like the visa. Or are you no longer a 'tourist'? Planning a trip to CR next month?

    Quote Originally Posted by KeyWestPirate View Post
    Whether most Nicas would welcome the Marines,, I don't know. Maybe in 6 months.
    Try never. That was 19th century American (Monroe doctrine) politics. Besides, common Nicas are much more aware today, proud to be Nicaraguan, not some orphan state to a superpower. Sure, in the 20th, Reagan slipped ‘em into Granada (the island, to save med stu’s for our ailing health care system), Panama (to rein in an errant CIA trainee-pres) and our Nicaragua, jodido, on the sly. Even Kennedy tried to retake Cuba for the elite mob back then. But that was yesteryear. On this 21st century globe Russia & China are very much present hereabouts as players, as we are on their turf. All tread lightly … so far.
    I never met a Semite I didn't like.

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    Default Re: Granada: Sunday Morning Coming Down

    Quote Originally Posted by Daddy-YO View Post
    . On this 21st century globe Russia & China are very much present hereabouts as players, as we are on their turf. All tread lightly … so far.
    Please elaborate.......who is "we" (US?) and are you stating that Nicaragua is Russia and China's turf?
    Life's different here ... It's a whole 'nother pace.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Granada: Sunday Morning Coming Down

    Car permits are still 30 + 30 extension. Aduana was quiet and I was the only permit extension in the folder. Usually quite a few.

    We walked by Pita Pita several times,, sorry I didn't try it. Interesting restaurants are off the Calzada, for the most part.

    Yeah,, I'll have to go to CR unless I import the truck. But, I've got to get my residency first.

    Lot of transito out,, but little grief,, and "bienvenido a Nicaragua"

    Coming back on the panamericano was slow
    Not talking trucks,, everyone driving 40. Transito has radar? Usually everyone who can go fast, has the pedal to the metal. Not even much honking ???
    The pitaleros are quiet.
    I feel like I'm in the twilight zone.

    Marines are probably an overreach,, old school, besides Trump needs them at the border. How about a bin Laden type snatch,, C130 idling at the airport, get the whole extended family,, direct flight to Guantanamo.
    Plenty of room.

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    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Granada: Sunday Morning Coming Down

    Just tell Hillary DOS y las tres are about to spill the frijoles on her.

  10. #10
    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Granada: Sunday Morning Coming Down

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Corn Tom View Post
    Please elaborate.......who is "we" (US?) and are you stating that Nicaragua is Russia and China's turf?
    Let me rephrase my last sentence:
    Russia & China are very much present as players here in Nicaragua (& Venezuela & Cuba &c.) which is to say, our neighborhood to the South, just as we are in their neighborhoods: Ukraine, Poland, Balkans &c. and Korea, Japan, Indochina, &c. - as players, mind you. The global situation lends itself to more measured actions and reactions (or so sane men hope).

    The ‘we’ I referred to are those who condemn what DOS & Co. have done to Nicaragua (and what Maburro & Co. do to Venezuela) and seek to censure/’punish’ them: the ‘West’: USA, Canada, Europe & the like. Russia & China are part of the ‘they’ crowd who defend & support these new LAm dictatorships. Thus far it’s been mostly just verbal and financial take & give. ‘They’ practice & praise authoritarian governance. ‘We’ see strength in democracy, but, so far, ‘we’ have had a spotty record in building new democracies around the world. (People are more use to being led than deciding for themselves.)
    I never met a Semite I didn't like.

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    Default Re: Granada: Sunday Morning Coming Down

    Lack of desire to "decide for themselves" aside, what would Russia or China gain by sustaining a dictatorship in a country that doesn't produce jack shit for the world? I can see keeping Venezuela out of the oil business to stifle competition, but Nicaragua? There is incentive to keep the free and cheap flow of illegal drugs into America from points south, to keep Americans apathetic about "deciding for themselves" (too stoned to care), but I haven't seen the connection to Nicaragua unless DOS is skimming cartel money.

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    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Granada: Sunday Morning Coming Down

    What’s it worth? What’s it cost? Strategic location? Spy satellite relay stations? Canal (hohoho)? CAm-Mexican dominoes? Hell if I know. I can’t even figure out what the US military is doing in Afghanistan 17 years after bin Laden slipped out. Worth? Strategic overview of Russia? Opium, heroin? Cost? 4,092 American deaths (1,720 civilians), over 20,000 wounded and 2+ trillion dollars spent, give or take several hundred billion. Go figure.
    I never met a Semite I didn't like.

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    Default Re: Granada: Sunday Morning Coming Down

    I know an ex-Army guy who was told we were in Afghanistan to guard the opium crops.

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    Default Re: Granada: Sunday Morning Coming Down

    Quote Originally Posted by Daddy-YO View Post
    Hell if I know. I can’t even figure out what the US military is doing in Afghanistan 17 years after bin Laden slipped out. Worth? Strategic overview of Russia? Opium, heroin? Cost? 4,092 American deaths (1,720 civilians), over 20,000 wounded and 2+ trillion dollars spent, give or take several hundred billion. Go figure.
    Makes you ask your self what kind of arrogant bully nation have we become? Why would any country inflict this on their citizens for so long and for no obvious benefits?

    Who will look out for my grandchildren when we the dollar becomes worthless?
    Life's different here ... It's a whole 'nother pace.

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    Default Re: Granada: Sunday Morning Coming Down

    Our grandchildren will have to fend for themselves. This "we" you refer to isn't "us." That deep state swamp thing took over long ago.

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    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Granada: Sunday Morning Coming Down

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonh View Post
    This "we" you refer to isn't "us." That deep state swamp thing took over long ago.
    Pardon my saying so, but that’s a cop-out. The so called ‘power elite’ have run the show from the get-go . . . everywhere, from the beginning of history. The players on stage change, but humanity itself, its basic nature, evolves slowly. We’re all Americans here (some liberals would like to see the term apply to all on this continent, South & North}. Personally, I don’t see a lot of difference between us and Nicas, step by nationwide step, we’ve all gotten ourselves in a political pickle.

    For me, what counts, what’s real are people - the lives that immediately surround us, that’s true wealth. The world stage? I love/hate, enjoy & am disgusted by the show. I feel I must be aware (perhaps, to dodge a bullet or avoid disaster), but I’m not going to let it bring me down.

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    Default Re: Granada: Sunday Morning Coming Down

    You're saying the same thing I am. As Ben Franklin commented after the Constitutional Convention, we have a republic if we can keep it. We probably kept it up to the point of our first election.

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    Default Re: Granada: Sunday Morning Coming Down

    RIP USA, 1789-1965.

    On the strategic level, maybe we should not have antagonized the new Christian Russia.

    "Support mental health or I'll break your head"


  19. #19

    Default Re: Granada: Sunday Morning Coming Down

    Quote Originally Posted by el duende grande View Post
    RIP USA, 1789-1965.

    On the strategic level, maybe we should not have antagonized the new Christian Russia.
    Russia is a bit of a paper tiger these days. If they thought there was something to be gained in Nicaragua,, they would have stepped up to the plate by now.

    China,, as well. There entre was paved in gold,, but nada.
    Maybe they don't like beans.

    Moncada is traveling the world with his tin cup in hand,, with little success as the clock ticks. INTUR is dreaming of tourists from Cuba, and Alba member countries. I dream of Jeannie,, and my chances are probably better than INTUR's.

    I give then an A for effort, and I wish them success,, but the numbers don't add up.

    The Gallo Pinto (mas gallo) will offer some much needed traffic relief. But,, your windshield will be washed at every corner,,, twice. So,, it's a wash, so to speak.

    It's going to take a while for things to REALLY crank down , but you are already seeing the signs. I spent $1600 at a hardware vendor in Condega two days ago,, paid him in dollars. He confided that he had $60 in his business account. His bank won't extend any credit,, much of his net worth is tied up in inventory. As a former printer / book publisher, I know his pain.

    Joel and his twin brother Alfonso know it's going to be a hard year,, they just don't know how hard. They are doing a lot of things right, but realize that it might not matter: if Ortega doesn't find some money the economy will contract, and the Cordoba will be devalued. New construction will be the last thing on anyone's mind.

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    Default Re: Granada: Sunday Morning Coming Down

    Quote Originally Posted by KeyWestPirate View Post
    Russia is a bit of a paper tiger these days. If they thought there was something to be gained in Nicaragua,, they would have stepped up to the plate by now.

    China,, as well. There entre was paved in gold,, but nada.
    Maybe they don't like beans.

    Moncada is traveling the world with his tin cup in hand,, with little success as the clock ticks. INTUR is dreaming of tourists from Cuba, and Alba member countries. I dream of Jeannie,, and my chances are probably better than INTUR's.

    I give then an A for effort, and I wish them success,, but the numbers don't add up.

    The Gallo Pinto (mas gallo) will offer some much needed traffic relief. But,, your windshield will be washed at every corner,,, twice. So,, it's a wash, so to speak.

    It's going to take a while for things to REALLY crank down , but you are already seeing the signs. I spent $1600 at a hardware vendor in Condega two days ago,, paid him in dollars. He confided that he had $60 in his business account. His bank won't extend any credit,, much of his net worth is tied up in inventory. As a former printer / book publisher, I know his pain.

    Joel and his twin brother Alfonso know it's going to be a hard year,, they just don't know how hard. They are doing a lot of things right, but realize that it might not matter: if Ortega doesn't find some money the economy will contract, and the Cordoba will be devalued. New construction will be the last thing on anyone's mind.
    The ChiComs and Russians really have nothing more than a fleeting interest in Nicaragua. Truly there is nothing strategic in Nicaragua other than the possibility of giving the US the red ass off and on. The days of a sitting American president giving a speech about commies being a two day drive from Browntown are over. If Trump mentioned that he would get roasted and grilled for paying attention to something other than collusion, the wall, DACA, Hooker Stormy, and or whatnot. Those are the things the American public cares about. Just like the American public allowed for dip shit politicians to spend a year talking about a hummer in the oval office. WGAF? Well sadly a broad populace of Joe and Jane SixPack do, tragic as it may be.

    POS & Co. are in the best of times and in the worst of times. There is nobody to let them suckle on the milk teat gravy train for being commies and a burr in the saddle of the US but equally the US could give a flying rat fuck about Nicaragua. I thought that the country and State Department might have cared, maybe the CIA dorks too. But really they don't. Thus POS is free to run amok. Now the true test will be whether or not his amoking will fuck up the economy so much that there is not enough gallo to go with the pinto and things melt down. After 20 years of upward mobility, albeit from way down and at a slow pace, when the screws tighten around the society as a whole things may very well get very ugly in Nicaragua. I am not sure if things will get that far, but they might.

    The ChiCom's and Russkies are not going to get sucked into being a babies daddy when there is no upside to it and when the US could GAF. That is my opinion.

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    Default Re: Granada: Sunday Morning Coming Down

    Where does Russia get its textile products? Do they import them like America does, or they actually make their own?

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    Default Re: Granada: Sunday Morning Coming Down

    For those who subscribe to the theory that the CIA is running things (Robert David Steele), if DOS is free to run amok it’s because the CIA wants it that way. So they do care, just not in the way we do.

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    Default Re: Granada: Sunday Morning Coming Down

    CIA bullshit. Like all other, why, nothing here anyone wants.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
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    Default Re: Granada: Sunday Morning Coming Down

    Food will always be strategic to the Chinese. Nicaragua boasts abundant sunshine, fresh water & fertile soil. Of course, as long as China dominates global capitalism, they can buy whatever from wherever, but they shop for bargains. Trump has been putting a pinch on their pork butts. (Once tasted, pork in rice with veggies, one doesn’t forget.) But few have the hang of making cheap pork butts for billions, i.e., industrialized farming. So the right places have to be ‘aligned’ and ‘taught’. Colonial occupation no longer flies. The long game they play is economic dependency and indebtedness - not unlike the once reigning captains of capitalism played.

    Russia has more than enough land for spuds, beets & hogs (and more defrosting as the globe warms). Tropical tidbits are nice and once savored, not easily forgotten, and thus are in demand for those with rubles. But Russia’s interest in Nicaragua (& the Alba crowd) is more philosophical, near religious, if you will. The statues of Lenin & Stalin got torn down there, but the philosophy of Marx still has believers. Here too. And in China too, i.e., some such translation. (Forget, for now, that its practice seems to require dictatorships. And remember that productive democracies are led by extremely wealthy, often-shadow players.)

    When fledgling ‘democracies’ pop up around the world they are showered with wheelbarrows full of dollars, to encouraged ‘alignment’ with the good guys. They may have diddly-squat worth of natural resources - that won’t stop the shower. The Marxists also like to back their guys. When the other side is cutting aid/support to punish ‘em, after they’ve suffered a bit, the Marxist can win favor on the cheap. You never know when you’ll need friends in strange places, or so both sides think. If it’s on Earth, it would seem to be worth fighting over.
    I never met a Semite I didn't like.

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    Default Re: Granada: Sunday Morning Coming Down

    Nica was Breadbasket of Central America, but that was previous dictator, now got papas from Guat, onions from honduras
    ‎"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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