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Thread: Three Days In Managua

  1. #1

    Default Three Days In Managua

    Entering Dante's least punishing level of hell,, I had some errands to run and brought Sebastian along. We stayed at the Airport -X but also enjoyed the pool at the Mercedes Best Western. My perception of the hotel is very dated, from the time I first arrived,, but there have been huge changes. You can still see remnants of the old rooms,, modeled after a Route 66 motel,, but the grounds are lush,, expansive and beautiful. The lobby is wonderfully air conditioned, unlike the Metro Center mall,, and the pool was sparkling clean,, and enormous.

    The service was excellent, the food delicious and reasonable. Sebastian and I shared the pool with two sweet girls from the Carib, BlueFields, who work in a call center in Managua. They were day trippers as well. There was almost no one else there.

    The pool deal is,,, $10,, I understood that they don't charge for kids ??,, and of the $10 you are given an $8 credit for drinks and food. Quite a deal.

    We also spent time at the Paseo Xolotlan,, the development north east of the port,, with mixed results. The aquatic park that I was so excited about was closed,, the pool drained. BUT, the airplane was there,, open for a few hours,, and we had it to ourselves. The Paseo is really interesting,, with all kinds of neat stuff, well done,, A Sandino museum, a Dario museum, a miniature Managua, child sized, the way it used to be.

    Sebastian has completely lost interest in bulldozers,, and is now into airplanes. We went over to the airport,, but there is no place to view the planes arriving and leaving.

    The Paseo had more guards and OP than guests,, only one restaurant was open,,, with no guests. That was Tuesday Evening. The port too was almost deserted. The little cars that the kids drive weren't there,, and haven't been there during my last visits. There was a wind from the east, instead from over th lake,, and it was hot. Managua was hot,, humid,, dusty,, but that is Managua this time of year.

    I had a little fun with the transito in Tipitapa on the way in. Tipitapa is famous for corrupt transito. I used to post on NicaLiving about my experiences getting through there.

    I was behind a slow semi, pulled around to pass him when we had two lanes, and was waved over. My supposed offense was speeding. I wasn't. We went through the interminable document check, he gave everything back except my license. Then he began to explain that the fine was C$3000 for my offense,, showed me the yellow ticket he was going to fill out. I asked him where I could retrieve the license,, Tipitapa or Managua,, he didn't know,, said that they would probably send it to my address after I paid my fine ???

    Then he generously offered to take care of things for C$1K,, I turned my head until I was facing his buddies, and said very loudly,, NO PAGO MORDIDAS.. DAME EL BOLETO AND TOMA LA LICENSIA! (actually, that is not true, but it's a great negotiating gambit).
    His fellow transitos who were standing on the median directly opposite my window and who were watching everything surreptitiously (probably trying to determine what their cut would be) looked up curiously.

    He threw the license back at me,, and crossed back to the median. I took my time re-arranging my documents,, putting my license back in my wallet, and then looked over at him on the median,,

    VAYA! and he waved his hand in a dismissive gesture.
    On the way back Wednesday afternoon,, the same crowd was in the same place. I was in the far right lane going north,, slowed down to 5 mph and maintained that speed until I was past them. A few honks, and some angry passing ensued, but , HEY, I don't run this 3rd world country,,, I just live here.

    One of my most important errands,, and partly why I had Sebastian, was to finally figure out what I had to do to get him out of the country. He has a valid US passport,, but a year ago at Las Manos he wasn't permitted to leave,, the reason being, he was clearly Nicaraguan, and needed to register as a Nicaraguan. We had been told that the process starts at the US Embassy,, so I went there. In a way, it does. A nice lady in the US Citizenship and Naturalization Services laid it all out for me,, in meticulous detail. I didn't get to actually see her,, it was lunch time (don't arrive between 11 and 1:30), but chatting with one of the Nicaraguan guards outside,, we got to the purpose of me being there.

    She said,,, " wait here",, came out about 10 mintues later, and beckoned me into the outer office where you lose your stuff, and pass into the innner courtyard. The UCSIS lady was on the other end of the phone,, and after a bit of WHO ARE YOU ??,, we got to the meat.

    It turns out that Sebastian is a dual national by accident of his parents birth. He needs a Nicaraguan birth certificate, first and then he can apply for a Nicaraguan passport. He uses the Nicaraguan passport to leave and enter Nicaragua (and maybe other shithole countries??),, but uses his US passport to enter any other country in the world. So, I asked,, as you would,, how does he get a Nicaraguan Birth Certificate when he was born in Tucson?? She replied,, the Nicaraguan birth certificate will show his place of birth as Tucson,, and his parents as Nicaraguans. I thanked her,, and thanked the security guard effusively.

    At that point it all started to clear up. So,, we have what we need. I got an original birth certificate and had it apostiled before we left. We just have to go through the process. Ariana's presence in the US might present some problem,, but I'm sure we'll work around it.

    So,, a pretty successful trip,, all in all.
    I stopped by Migracion to check on my residency,, the lady recognized me,,

    "We'll call you!"

  2. #2
    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Philly - León
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    Default Re: Three Days In Managua

    We were in Managua yesterday. The weather was quite pleasant, not cool certainly, but not excessively hot with a nice breeze. All's relative to where you're coming from, I guess.

    That gambit with the traffic cop was well played. Not that i'd have tried the same - in today's climate cops here have the upper hand. Had he confiscated your licence, it seems likely you'd never recover it. The 'bite-of-your-wallet' (the bribe) he wanted was ridiculously high to start, but he dropped fast. I probably would have ended up giving him some 300 cords (poor civil servant!).

    Quote Originally Posted by KeyWestPirate View Post
    So, we have what we need. . . We just have to go through the process.
    Good luck Pirate!
    I never met a Semite I didn't like.

  3. #3
    Viejo del Foro el duende grande's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    near Esteli
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    Default Re: Three Days In Managua

    poor civil servant=thief acting under the privilege of law.

    Anyway, on a legitimate ticket they mail your license back to you with Nic's version of express mail, which was Nic's way of ending the problems of sloth, incompetence, and corruption when they used to return your license to your local transito, all of this pre-situacion.

    Incidentally, in the new normal a lot of stuff is going on, such as boycotting Salvador Allende because it is perceived as a ruling party enterprise. Takes a lot of fun out of visiting mga. SA was the govmint's pride and joy to put mga on the tourist map, not to mention a pleasant lunch stop for the Managua gentry.

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

    ...with a 6 foot stick and mask and gloves....

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