I’ve never been one for keeping diaries – in fact, my University journal ended mid-sentence in the first few words of the first entry.
I hope to be able to say a little more than that here and perhaps elaborate on Tweets and Facebook posts – although it’s taken me an age to write these few words.
The easiest way for me to do this is with what might appear as random observations. It’s the Lyndaloo stream of consciousness, I’m afraid. Oh well, here goes …
Farewell, sat-nagging UK
I’m known for my back seat taxi driving – or “sat-nagging”, to be precise. My last few hours in the UK before heading to Nicaragua were no different. The driver arrived 15 minutes late. For some reason he didn’t know that a road – at the centre of riots in August – was closed! London was burning – where was he? Oh well, Lyndaloo Sat-Nagging Services UK have been wound down for the time being. They won’t be needed in Nica as I’m accustomed to the system – it’s the same in Jamaica and Cuba – you stop a cab, squeeze in, find a non-existent space next to a passenger with a large bag of wares and maybe live chickens and roosters and tell the driver where you’re going. Easy. Just say it with confidence.
Good Morning, America
The flight attendants – two in particular – should have their own TV chat show. He kept making snide, funny comments and she kept trying to pair me off with the man sitting next to me. I have to say my fellow passenger was guapo. Richard, 48, could have passed for a 20-something. Afro botox, more commonly known as good genes.
What a palaver!
I flew via the USA and so had to check out and check back in again. They confiscated liquids I’d purchased after the security gate at Heathrow. Oooh, don’t get me started. I seethed for as long as it took me to remember that they hadn’t charged me for my second suitcase. But then, they wanted to know my reason for coming to the States. IN TRANSIT.
Anyone, speak English?
Miami Airport. Plenty of time to practise my Spanish before arriving in Nica. I found that all the shops and restaurant staff spoke Spanish first and then English if they thought you didn’t understand them. ¡Qué bueno! With three hours to spare before getting my flight to Managua it was a great opportunity to shop. By this point I could barely walk because my mochila was so heavy. It didn’t stop me ending up at the departure gate with four bags…
Deep breathing necessary
We were called for the flight to Managua and all I heard was “can we remind passengers that only one piece of hand luggage is permitted”. Have you ever had that strange ringing in your ears when you’ve had a shock? Any sleuth could see that I had more than the designated amout. But, I managed to reduce it to two. It was a bit like one of those scenarios where a fragile person lifts a car or an object many times their bodyweight to save the life of someone trapped underneath (maybe not quite, but you get my meaning?) However, with all the will in the world and the help of Uri Geller, Paul Daniels and Penn and Teller there was no way I could fit my recent Miami airport purchases (a beach bag, headphones, a summer scarf, two bottles of water, a bottle of coca cola and a bottle lemonade) into my backpack. I breathed deeply and thought of Bikram Yoga Pranayama Deep Breathing and also added the power of prayer. I decided that maybe, just maybe, they wouldn’t see my backpack. When my number was called – just about the last, wouldn’t you guess, I waltzed up to the attendant, handed over my boarding card and marched past – opting for the confident approach. It worked and – what’s more – the plane was virtually empty.
Welcome to Guatemala … what???
“We’d like to welcome passengers aboard flight 985 from Miami to Guatemala and we wish you a pleasant stay.” There weren’t that many on the plane and though nobody uttered a word our gasps were loud enough for the flight attendant to correct herself, very quickly. “Err … sorry … Managua. We’ve been here four times already today,” she said. I’m glad she got it right in the end or I would probably have been carried out on a stretcher.
I can hardly believe I’m here. Pinch me!
To be continued …