Only in Central America Pt. 2: Things that Would Never Fly at Home

Hello lovelies! A few weeks ago I wrote a list of things that happen in Central America that would never fly at home (Part One). They are the quirky little things that make Central America well.. Central America. And with that really great, detailed description here is part two!

Nicaragua

  • When I first started driving one of the first things I was taught was that you always always turn the car off when getting gas. If you don’t you will blow up and die. When we were going from San Juan del Sur to Granada our driver pulled over to get gas. He got out, keys still in the ignation, car running, paid the gas attendant and went inside. All three of us slowly turned to each other, I whispered, “Is the car still on?” “Yep” my mom replied like the sound of our voices would make the car spontaneously combust. And so we sat quietly waiting to burst into flame. Welp, it must not be that dangerous or someone forgot to warn a whole country because literally everyone does it .
  • Drinking and eating anything and everything out of plastic bags. Juice, yep. Fruits, yep. Tacos? Yep! Personally I love, love, love the five Córdoba “frescos” sold in little plastic baggies. They are so refreshing and delicious, if you pick a good flavor..and only five córdobas! That’s 17 cents people!

    image
    Mm delicious fresco

Panama and Nicaragua

  • At home I rarely use my horn and when I do it’s to loudly inform someone that they are being an A-hole, I’m sure it’s much the same for you as well. On occasion I’ll honk if I see a friend but it’s mostly used as a tool to release some pent up road rage. When Eli and I first arrived in Panama we noticed that people were constantly honking at us. At first we thought it was them appreciating how beautiful we are 😉 but then we discovered that no, in fact they were not complimenting us and in fact they honk at everyone. And we soon found the same goes for Nicaragua. People honk for any and every reason it’s like an extension of themselves. They honk to say hello, to say hello back to the bus that just honked a hello, taxi honks to tell you they are free, buses honk to ask if you are waiting, people honk when there is traffic, animals, or to tell you to cross the street. If there is something going on outside their car they will honk to be apart of it.
  • Hitchiking, yay! In the US hitchhiking equals being chopped into little pieces and thrown into a ditch. Well, that’s what I’ve been told. That hitchhiking is very, very dangerous and should never be done. I’ve never hitchhiked in the US so I don’t know how safe it is but in Panana and Nicaragua it’s a common way to get around. Now, I’m not telling you to just hop in a car with a rando, no no no. I’m just stating that it’s very common and people who live in Pananma and Nicaragua hitchhike to work, the grocery store, the beach, etc. I’ve hitchhiked in these countries as well, sorry parental units, and had very fun experiences. It’s not hyped up to be this thing and that only serial killers pick people up, it’s just a normal way of life.

All of Central America

  • Crocs are the bees knees. We have crocs at home but it is a common opinion that they are strictly for five years old and younger. Honestly, before this trip I would not be caught dead in crocs, and when Eli’s shoes fell apart in Costa Rica and crocs were the only thing that would fit him I made fun of him mercilessly. In Central America Crocs are worn by all, all the time: men, women, child, with socks, without socks, in swimshorts, and pants. Crocs are well loved in Central America. I have since invested in a pair and I must admit that they were the MVP of our day at Semuc Champey.
  • There is no such thing as Click it or Ticket it. I don’t think I’ve worn a seatbelt once in the four months that we’ve been here, once again sorry parental units. That is a huge no-no at home. It’s not because I’m trying to be a rebel look I’m not wearing a seatbelt *snickers* but simply because they don’t exist. Or if they do I definitely have not stumbled upon them in all the buses, cars, and taxi trips I’ve taken. Along with this one is the whole riding in the back of a pickup truck thing. We can’t ride on the road let alone the highway but in Central America the only concern revolved around people riding in the truck bed is how many you can squeeze in.
  • Drinking at any hour of the day. Okay, this might be partially because I don’t have those silly responsibilies like a job but I swear people are drinking all the time. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You want a midday beverage go on down to Oxxo I’m sure there are other people with the same idea. And it’s not even that people are getting drunk all the time, well I mean some people are, but others are just enjoying a cold beverage throughout the day.

 

What are some quirky things you guys have discovered while traveling?

Xx Hayley

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5 thoughts on “Only in Central America Pt. 2: Things that Would Never Fly at Home

  1. I can totally relate to some of these living here in Korea, particularly, the whole we must turn the car off when getting fuel, so the car doesn’t go up into flames. Well here, you pull up to the pump and the attendant comes and pump your gas. I recall turning off the engine the first few times after I started driving, only to be asked what was I doing “wasting time and energy.” You see Korea has what is called a “ppali ppali” culture. Ppali means quickly/fast in Korean. Everything here must be done swiftly and so apparently turning off my engine to prevent a fire while the attendant was pumping gas into my car was a grave offense because you must get in and out for the next cars to move up and get their gas. And on that note, in the name of “ppali ppali” also have your window down, fuel door popped open, and your hand out of the window with your cash/card ready to give to the gas attendant before he gets to your window which will be in a split second upon pulling up to the pump. Lesson: never turn the engine off in Korea.

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