Airport security is what it always is; intrusive, obnoxious, unproductive, insulting. From standing in front of the x ray scanner with your hands above your head, to a quick pat down by a uniformed government servant, it is hard to feel this is for my own good.

Once I clear scrutiny, I  eventually end at the proper gate where i wait some more and finally board my jet and go for my sixth travel ring in the belly of a gussied up tin can.

If you travel enough, you come to the point that airports are not glamorous.

Houston to Managua is a boring three hours and standing in Managua, going through Customs, travelers who have been here before share their travel adventures.

” Last time down we shot a hell of a lot of ducks, ” a middle aged man with a Hemingway beard and a protruding stomach tells me. ” I’m staying at the Hotel Alahambra. My friends come down here three or four times a year. ”

Customs goes quickly and paying a $10 entry fee to get into Nicaragua I smile for a camera mounted on the Custom officer’s booth window.

Martine, my shuttle driver, is waiting for me outside the terminal, holding a sign with my name on it. It is night and he will get me to my lodging.

” Welcome to Nicaragua, ” he says, in English.

The United States is behind me, Nicaragua is in front of me.

Why so many people leave the U.S. looking for paradise is a Graduate student’s dissertation I would pay to read.

In the middle of the night, on the way to Granada, I can’t see anything of what I have gotten myself into, only know that another place on a world map is about to unfold for me. 

Nicaragua is not a place I would normally go but I am here. The scene of revolution in Reagan’s 1980’s, revolutionaries have successfully taken over the country but don’t mind my tourist dollars.

These days, Capitalism and Communism, as practiced, are not that far apart.

As is commonly said, over beers, ” The rich keep getting ricer. ”

I’m glad, as Martine navigates the narrow roads with no street lights, that I’m not a duck.



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