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I am an observant person. Not about people, because people are complicated and weird, but I notice things about my surroundings. A lot. Here are my incredibly astute observations from my two months in Central America. (More touristy notes about what I did and where I went are alongside the jillion photos I took.)

Nicaragua has full sheet newspapers. El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala have half-sheet tabloid sized newspapers. I don't have a theory about what this means, but I did notice it.

There are significantly fewer mototaxis in Guatemala than other countries. There are fewer mototaxis in bigger, modern-er cities than there are on the countryside. Nicaragua has the most horses. Also cows. Nicaragua was also the only place we saw horse drawn carriages. Apparently, they are taxis, that normal non-tourist people take, but with a horse, instead of a motor. Also: pedi-cabs are all over the place in Nicaragua, but non-existant in Honduras or Guatemala.

Guatemala is the coolest, temperature-wise, but Honduras seems much steeper.

Guatemala has held onto their traje tipica, while both Honduras and Nicaragua have embraced the shorts-and-t-shirt look.

Nicaraguans are crazy about baseball. Even during the World Cup.

Food is pretty uniformly lousy. There are a lot of beans, and rice, and they are usually over-cooked and greasy. (Sometimes they are also cold, which just makes the trifecta of lame.) The food is also unspiced. Oh and the cheese- super salty fresh cheese, that I learned to loathe.
Restaurants catering to tourist tastes often overcompensate. I failed to eat an overspiced Thai curry- it was too hot for even my New Mexico trained tongue to handle. Another memorable meal tried to incorporate tarragon and nutmeg into a marenade. For the record: no.
On the other hand, they do have all those fabulous tropical fruits that I desperately miss when I can't have them. Pitaya, maricuya/calala, gineps/caneps/meloton, mangos of twelve different varieties, tiny finger bananas, ripe papaya.

Date: 2010-07-24 04:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] studentbane.livejournal.com
Nice observations!

Can you define "traje tipica"?

tarragon and nutmeg into a marenade

*shudder*

Date: 2010-07-25 01:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joyouschild.livejournal.com
Traje typica is the traditional clothing people wore, way back in the day. In the more rural parts of Central America, people still wear it, in all it's wacky, handwoven, multicolored glory.

Date: 2010-07-24 04:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] qlewkr.livejournal.com
Surprising observations! And really? Lackluster food? I'm not questioning you. I went all over Italy and thought the food was only ho-hum. I don't know WHAT people go on about. But bland food in Latin America! Wow. Next time I go a-travelling there, I will carry along siracha. You've done me a service, you have.

Date: 2010-07-24 04:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] qlewkr.livejournal.com
OMG! Your pictures! I now must go to the Lago de Atitlan. MUST!

Date: 2010-07-25 01:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joyouschild.livejournal.com
I have to say, Central America as a whole: stupid picturesque.

Date: 2010-07-25 01:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joyouschild.livejournal.com
In all fairness, the fact that it was a million jillion degrees made the idea of food less exciting. (Two meals a day? Plenty. At home I am more of a four square meals person, so this was kind of surprising.)

Yeah, when I go again, I may take my camping spice kit with me.

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