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Current Location: Home with rented room, Esteli, Nicaragua

11.08.10

Price of beer in a bar: US$1.76 per liter.
Song currently stuck in my head: Trigger (Calexico)

I went out to breakfast on Saturday and Esteli felt particularly appropriate. The Girlfriend and I had split ~500ml of rum the night before, not quite evenly, while watching Inception. She’s a reluctant riser on the best of mornings, so there was little hope of company at breakfast. I like a mild hangover, it quiets the shit that’s otherwise colliding in my head. On the way I walked past the open door of a home that I had suspected of being upscale for quite a while now. I was right. As I mentioned, there isn’t much difference between a nice house and a terrible one from the street. There are some minor indicators, like a nice bit of wood trim on a window, but in the end it’s like walking around in a Public Storage and guessing the value of each vault’s contents by looking at its padlock.

Saturday morning was a nice combination of things I like about Esteli; the weather was that San Francisco temperature meets Colorado sunshine, the coffee at Cafe Luz was, as always, spectacular. The second hand clothing store had a like-new REI biker’s rain layer, probably in the US$150 category, for US$12 in the window. The tipica breakfast, eggs, cheese, rice/beans, tortilla and sweet plantains was perfect for the occasion, which was just sitting back, practicing a little Spanish and watching the light traffic of 4WDs, bikes and pedestrians amongst the local approximation of Spanish colonial ambiance. I took some pancakes to go for The Girlfriend and another cup of coffee for me.

Latin American pharmacies always have to one-up me. In Guatemala I went in looking for ibuprofen and I came out with Hydrocodone. In numerous countries I’ve gone in looking for a mild sleep aid for the overnight bus rides and come out with Diazepam. The other day I went in looking for 19-norandrostenedione (“norandro”) and they offered me 250mg of Testosterone Enanthate (Primoteston), which they assured me, through word and pantomime, would cause my muscles to grow much larger. I have no doubt. I bought a bottle of norandro almost by accident years ago; the recommended dosage was about 3 pills a day. I took 1 a day for a week and my chest hair doubled. I stopped taking them. That bottle ended up lasting me a decade; I would pull it out once a year, on moving day, and never feel any soreness the next day no matter how many stairs I climbed or couches I wedged through impossibly angled doorways. I actually took my last few, spaced weeks apart, just before leaving for this trip. I don’t think I’m ready to step up to Primoteston anytime soon. I’ve been working out less than I’d hoped here, mostly because the one easy gym (close, friendly) is way to crowded with stuff. It’s hard to enjoy a workout under the constant anxiety that you’re going to hit some one or thing with the 40 pound dumbbell you’re swinging. I’ve already got some leads on good gyms in our next town, so we’ll see how that works out.

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