Day 58 - December 4th: Granada, Nicaragua
The first Sunday in December there is a special finale to Masaya's festival of San Jeronimo so on the 4th of December we once again went to Masaya, this time with Dan, Bonnie and Rex. Stages were set up in various areas of the town, and we spent some time touring around watching the dances. It was another enjoyable afternoon. My dad decided that it would be fun to walk around donning a Santa Claus hat, which got many laughs from the locals, since no one else over the age of 4 had one on. In our festive and spontaneous spirit, we decided to try some of the local fare. It consisted of a corn tortilla topped with a rubber slice of cheese, which is then covered in something that tastes a bit like sauerkraut, smothered in mayonnaise and sprinkled with some sea salt, all served up in a sandwich baggie. We thought eating mayonnaise that was baking in 30 degree sun for half a day was daring, but we obviously need to learn a few lessons in bravery. This guy proved that no precautions are necessary to set off fireworks...just hold it and hope for the best. Fireworks seem to be the past time in Nicaragua. It's unbelieveable how many are set off. Fireworks aren't only for the evening here either.... all through the day you can hear them going off whether it's in the sunshine or a torrential downpour. I still haven't actually figured out the "why", though. There just doesn't seem to be any reasoning behind the constant day and night bombardment of mini-bombs. The guy working the administration at the hotel mentioned something about Christmas...but that was back in November, so it seems a little premature for the celebrations. Another peculiarity about Nicaragua is their manner of greeting you. I had a bit of a giggle when someone walking past me said "Bye!" in a "Hello!" intonation. But then it happened again, and then shortly after that someone walking by me said "Adios!" in a "Buenos Dias!" sound. It turns out that they commonly interchange 'hello/goodbye' and "buenos/adios". The only thing that I have to figure out now, is if I say hello to the goodbye or goodbye back!