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Monday, 2 April 2012

Culture Exists in Managua! (But so do guys who Think its Cool to Wear a Bandana)


Its funny how you can live in the same city as that weird guy from Austin Texas who thinks it cool to wear a bandana, and because you have no intention of ever communicating with him, you both lead a TOTALLY different life in the same city.

It could be that you spend a year in a city and try to get to know its culture, and only see mainstream stuff, American fast food franchises, expat bubbles, and so on and so on. Or you could ‘go local’ like one American friend here, which means hanging out in the shady underworld places, taking drugs, and getting in bad trouble in bad places with bad people.

But I think I can say that if you look hard enough, and meet those few interesting positive standout people that live and add to any decent city, then you find yourself in that vibe that actually makes the place enjoyable.

Almost despairing that all there was to Managua was brutally loud regitone, glue sniffing kids and Macdonalds, fortunately some local friends showed me a very different city this weekend, and for which I can be eternally thankful.

Ok but I’ll start off with a free plug for my friend Armandos bar – Claps.  If you tire of local brews it sells Heineken and all the normal imports, but I must warn you it’s a Kareoke bar so noise pollution from awful/drunk singers is de rigour. So you must be one of either to visit.

Anyway, our night started there (beer and nice rum) but more to the point, was the food afterwards….

I can’t bang on more about El Tercer Ojo, if only because it’s the only decent Asian restaurant for 1000miles.  When you’re surrounded by Empinadas, rice n beans, fried plantains and people as fat as houses, it’s quite a respite to order up a nice vietnamese prawn coconut curry and wash it down with some decent wine.

And ladies, especially ladies with sugerdaddies, you will be glad to know it for some reason it also has a womens clothes shop inside.

But the main draw is that there’s often live music in a little courtyard in the back.  Tonight was a bunch of Spanish guys, friends of my friend, who did a great gig with a host of bizarre instruments (like saws and home made violins with gramophone speakers attached, and for the first time in months, it made me homesick a little for quirky old Europe.
Drinking wine and watching guys make weird seagull noises with saws is actually great fun 

And I didn’t see a single bandana clad Texan, coldplay listening guy from Cambridgshire, or a wifebeater wearing Aussie, GREAT SUCCESS !  

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