Unfortunately, our pleasant evening was wrecked by a dreadful night. Our hotel absolutely stank of piss, so badly that we tried to alleviate the situation by burning a mosquito coil. It helped as long as it lasted, but we couldn’t keep burning them all night. In addition, the place was incredibly noisy – people at it, kids screaming, stereos blaring (“Stars on 45, they keep turning in your mind…”) And finally, our mattress seemed to be alive with things that creep + crawl. So, somewhat the worse for wear the next morning, we ate a fair breakfast with our American friends, before finding the bus to head back to San Jose. Fortunately, the bus was halfway comfortable, a sort of Pullman on the cheap, so the journey back was not too bad.
Arrived back in San Jose at 3 or so, checked back in to the Hotel Managua, + then set out to look for a sauna (we couldn’t find one) + some money-changers. Took ages to find one, but then, of course, we were inundated with them. In the evening we ate out at a mildly plush Italian restaurant. It was most excellent, serving vast portions of lasagne with hot bread + butter, for not much more than a dollar. And then we had strawberries + cream, too.
The next day (another month, ho hum) we began by breakfasting in our room – porridge, bread + jam, coffee – + then was followed by a whole hodge-podge of little things, none of them really of any importance. We made a couple of enquiries about teaching jobs, but one which might have paid well was filled, + another had vacancies but paid a pathetic wage. We shopped, we tried to go to the National Museum – it was shut – met an acquaintance from San Pedro so chatted + drank tea, made enquiries about boats + planes, + finally found ourselves in our hotel room at about 4. I had bought a Miami Herald, + greatly enjoyed reading that, then we ate (or over-ate) one of Val’s potato salads, before I went off to the pictures. It was a very bad film – Die Laughing – but was massively improved for me in that Jim Cranna + Chris Pray were both in it. Gave me a very pleasing jolt.
The two days recorded show that we were just passing time, waiting for a deadline to pass – a train, a boat, or, in our case, the approval of our new travellers’ cheques. This is a normal part of travelling, but it normally was not our way; we had a restless streak, and once we had exhausted the cultural or other attractions, we were keen to mve on and experience something new. But since we had to wait, there were worse places; we could live reasonably well. And as before, we were on the look out for ways to supplement our funds.
You may not remember – Jim and Chris were two of the people who ran the improv scene in San Francisco, so it came us a welcome shock to see them on screen.