Oh, my precious peonies, I am happy for so many reasons. First and foremost being that Managua, a city that had been built up in my head to some gothically horrific nightmarish place is, it turns out, perfectly pleasant. Driving in to town in a taxi last night I was stunned by the lack of awfulness, which is a weird thing to say, but there you have it. Now, let's be clear, I'm staying in the nice part of town, which is still fairly crummy in places by U.S. standards, but this is great! The staff at the hostel I'm staying at is super friendly and helpful. In fact, all Nicaraguans I've encountered so far are incredibly friendly and helpful. The hostel manager took me on a walking tour of the neighborhood and helped me find the house I'll be staying at. What's more, right now I'm sitting by the swimming pool in a hammock surfing the internet on a very decent wireless network. All I need is a cold beer (damn, I forgot beer at the grocery store) to make this absolutely perfect.
So let me tell you what's up. Today I bought a cell phone for $25 (TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS!!!). If anybody in the States wants to give me a holla, just dial 001-505-490-2264. Also, I found a place to live, and it seems wonderful! I'll send out an email later with my address for those who want it, so just let me know!
You want to know what's crazy? Managua doesn't have street names. Seriously! No street names. Addresses, as a result, are completely bizarre. For example, my new address (in English) is:
From the Evangelical University, two blocks to the south, three blocks to the east, house #97, Los Robles Neighborhood, Managua.
Crazy, right? But here, it's a legitimate address, recognized by the post office and taxi drivers alike. And that's not even the weirdest of them. One I was trying to find ended up with something like "across from the big tree, next to the green car, third door from the left." I've seen some bizarre cultural oddities in my day, but this is pretty awesome. I think it has something to do with the fact that after the '73 earthquake they never rebuilt the city like it was? Not sure on that, though.
The other weirdly awesome thing is that in comparison with Texas the weather here is FANTASTIC. It's only like 90 degrees, with sporadic sprinkly rain showers and cool breezes in the evening. Sigh... I'm in love. All right, off to find some rice and beans for dinner. Love to all, more news forthcoming.