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