I went to Migracion Central in Managua alone to extend my visa another 90 days. Waited 3½ hours sweating, trying to discern if any of the heavyweight clerks behind the glass in the frigid A/C'd offices would attend me. I came with proof of marriage to a Nica, our Nica son, and her kids - all dependent on me, which in past years was my ticket to stay another 3 months - but not this year. The best they offered was 30 days. I refused to come back & suffer thru that disorganized Soviet ape show again. I suspect the Nicas of officialdom have been told to remove the welcome mat to us sons of imperialists. Regular Nicas are as genuine and good as ever, but the Stasi are slowly turning all grey-black here.

A border crossing into CR gets me a 90 day visa on returning to this CA-4 country. The last time I did that I went cheap via inter-local thru Diriamba to Rivas. But they picked up a guy - despite having no seats available - in the middle of nowhere, who evidently had slept in the field, judging from the flora on his clothes & in his hair. He sat on an inverted bucket in the aisle beside me, rubbing up against me. I got lice, bad. So this trip I’ll ride the TicaBus, round trip since CR requires a ticket out to get in.

Two years ago the whole family went to Migracion to get our boy’s permission stamp on his Nica passport in order to exit. Even more of a headache than a simple visa extension requiring legal boilerplate that the lawyers working under black plastic covered lean-to’s across the street supply for a fee, and both parents & the kid present with full documentation. Happy to escape with the permit we hopped into the first taxi at the curb - a Soviet Lada. The driver told me I should fasten my seatbelt - I rode shotgun, and assumed he was worried about the poli-poli taking a bite out of his wallet if I didn’t. A few minutes later we slammed head-on into the side of a HiLux that had run a stop sign. We were going some 25-30 mph I’d judge. It happen beside a fire station and trainees were all over us before I could orient. Soon channel 10 was there to interview us, but we refused. Those in the back got scrapes and a bloody nose. I got a bruised rib that took weeks to heal, but without the seatbelt I probably would have eaten windshield. All of us were very discombobulated - the trauma overloaded perception, delaying cognition. We all walked off toward a local hospital (Baptist), but by the time we got there all seemed OK, so we flagged a taxi and continued on to Plaza Inter and got pain killers at a farmacia. The Lada was a total wreck. When we passed by I asked the driver to return the fare I’d paid in advance. He said nothing.

So I dread Migracion. OK, you probably wondering why not become a ‘resident’ after 13 years of doing tourist visas? Using Nicaragua as our snowbirds’ destination for half of each year has become strained. I hate the idea of having to ask their ‘permission’ to leave. My wife is a US resident and she/we come & go with any such bureaucratic rigmarole. I kept my house up North thru the worst of the recession. I am at the point of bringing all to Jersey to stay and use what I pay in rent here to cover the bill to heat & cool our home. But, I know, that like tropical flowers in the cold North, they’ll fade without being immersed in Nicaragua. All depends on how odious Nicaragua becomes.