Monday, April 30, 2012

A mostly pleasant trip to Granada

This weekend I went to Granada.  I actually had a pretty good time, not so much because of the trip but because of all the people I met!  And that's how I plan on telling my story.

Mexican man on the bus  This is the guy I sat next to on my bus ride up.  He worked and traveled through Central America for many years.  After passing the border, the bus was stopped by a few policias.  The man next to me was asked off the bus where he was interrogated by the policia.  I asked him what it was about and he said every time he travels (and he's been doing it for 14 years) he is always stopped by the policia because he's Mexican.  And Mexicans are known to carry drugs.  He seemed very nonchalant about it and said he was used to the ethnic profiling now.  Like it was no big deal.

Japanese girl on the bus  I was scouring the bus for someone who was obviously a tourist who I could share a taxi with into town.  I saw one girl who I started talking to at the border.  Turns out she studies in the same university where I did my study abroad in San Jose!!  What a world!  She was really nice and I got her facebook.  We plan to hang out when she gets back to the country.

When we got to Granada, I asked a taxi driver to take us in for 19 cordoba, he threw up his hands like it was a ridiculous request and tells me there's other cars.  I asked how much he wanted and he shooed me away saying to find another taxi.  Obviously, he was just there to charge some unknowing gringo up the ass for a cheap taxi ride.  Once he realized I knew how shit worked, he wanted nothing to do with me.

We stayed in a very nice hostel which I'll recommend to everyone.  Seven dollars a night.  Request a bottom bed, they're bigger and the top beds are hot because the fans don't reach them.

Old Canadian man  I met this man while drinking a cool Tona in the common area.  We talked all night about traveling, politics and everything in between.  The most interesting story he had is when he actually hung out with a Samosa.  For those who don't know, the Samosas were politicians in Nicaragua and murders.  I'm surprised he survived the meeting.  Very interesting old guy.

Japanese couple  The Japanese girl introduced me to this couple who was also looking to go to San Jose the next day.  We woke up early Sunday morning to go to the Tica Bus station.  This is right when I realized my ticket was booked for the wrong day.  At Tica Bus, they told me all buses that day were sold out and I couldn't change my ticket.  I almost cried a few tears of frustration thinking about the lawyer not getting my stuff in on time, when the couple came up to me, pointed at a map and said "How about Trans Nica?"  So we walked 5 blocks over to the Trans Nica stop and met a lady sweeping the street.  She said the 8am bus was already full and maybe we could get on the 12pm.  That would have sucked because it's a 9 hour bus ride and we'd get to SJ very late.  Turns out there were three tickets left for the 8am bus!!  We snatched them up and went on our way.

When we got to SJ, Oscar drove the couple to their hostel since it was on our way.  The guy gave Oscar a big giant hug and the girl asked me for our address to send us a postcard.  I explained how awful mail is here and instead asked for a picture or two via email.  She agreed.

Opinionated Spanish Man on bus  I was "lucky" enough to spend the entire bus ride next to a Spanish man who refused to shut up.  He thought this 9 hours was the perfect time to tell me all the reasons America has disappointed him and the world.  He told me the only way to have peace in the Middle East is to kill all the Palestinians.  He also said that Hugo Chavez is awesome.  Needless to say, I tuned him out most of the time.

And that's my trip!  It was pretty nice and I have my new visa to turn into the lawyer.  He's already sent me an email asking me for a scanned picture of it, so it seems like he's finally on his shit.  I guess it'll all be worth it when I get my numero comprobante.


Anonymous said...

Hey Signe!! Glad you were able to make the best of a crappy situation :) How is your Spanish (and Tica Spanish) going? Do you mostly use English in your daily life? Sounds like you got plenty of practice this weekend though!

- Britta