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Friday, 24 February 2012

Granada at night - Muy Sketchito!

So thinking it was Friday night, I decided to explore about. I went and played a small ($5 entry) poker with a nice bunch of guys in the back room of the delightful Euro Cafe only to find it was thursday night. But the poker was on, and I got knocked out pretty quick. I suppose I wasn't taking $5 seriously. The cash game (the real game) was to be at a guys house down at the bottom of Liberdad street. I went back to hotel and changed up some money, and while we did it me and the hotel guy had to shoo away a sketchy looking glue sniffer. Anyway he saw the readies, and as i happened to be walking down a backstreet to the poker (with $300 in my pocket) out he came from the shadows. Well I don't know if any of you guys have been robbed in sketchy backstreets before, but you can kind of feel it before it happens. You cross the street he crosses the street etc etc. Behind me was a neighbourhood even more shady and with not so good street lighting, which I absolutely didn't want to wander into with my gringo flip flops. Scottish jokes can only go so far down here...

And ahead of me was this glue sniffing monkey who knew i had a bunch of cash on me. So. Not really knowing what to do, and knowing if I just stood there like a dick, he'd bring out his knife and relieve me of everything, I found myself treating him like a cow. I ran at him, making lot of noise clapping my hands and shouting, feigning to smack him one just before i got to him. (i had flip flops on so kicking would have been a bit lame) The poor guy didn't know what the hell was going on, so quickly i found myself on the right side of him and moving towards the safety of the main drag before he could say 'loco gringo'. Well, I guess he got someone else later that night.

But more than any place i've been to in Nicaragua, Granada seems to me the most sketchy. Street kids are everywhere, sniffing glue in the main square and begging for money. And getting peado'd on. Seems another negative side affect from the tourists.

The main drag is annoying and loud from the kids doing their show every fifteen minutes (its a cross between punch and judy and 'throw the jew down the well') with loud drums much to the annoyance of ALL the tourists except of course redneck Nicaraguans. (I saw western tourists with their fingers in their ears on numerous occasions) Anyway, the bottom line is that these kids are ruining the main street. Its great for the other places though - like Garden Cafe and its neighbour, the gringo owned (and therefor grossly overpriced- $5 a vodka) Imagine across the road from it. At least this is a safe little oasis that is one street back from the main drag, thanks to security guards, but don't wander too far off it, especially down towards the lake, you may not come back...Imagine last night was quite ok, i.e. full of gringos because of the high prices. But even the 2 dutch guys I met went out and sneaked in some alcohol from elsewhere.

At 6am this morning, for some reason outside our hotel, a group of people decided to bang drums extremely loudly and blow trumpets. For 30minutes. I have no idea why and will probably never have.



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