Current Location: Harvest House, Leon, Nicaragua


Price of beer in a bar: US$0.86/12 ounce bottle

Song currently stuck in my head: One Note Samba (Antonio Carlos Jobim)

I shaved my junk in anticipation of the Leonese heat.  In the ancient world, pre-deodorant, shaving was a popular way to minimize body odor.  Quick lesson: as I understand it, most BO is the smell of dead bacteria rotting away.  Your body hair, mixed with sweat and body heat, provides an ideal environment for the bacteria to breed in, which is why your smell is stronger when you sweat.  Deodorant is basically just wax that coats and, therefore, waterproofs your underarm hair. Antiperspirant is a little more complicated, but another way to break the cycle is to just remove the hair. It’s 100 degrees here and I packed light, so anything that alleviates the need to change twice a day is a big help.

Plus in a country this poor, catholic and fecund we can assume that, in as much as birth control is practiced, the rhythm method is common.  They don’t need me throwing off their math by inducing spontaneous ovulations with my musk.

But the point of this comment (and often this blog, really) is: learn from my mistakes.  I don’t recommend this, at least not for this purpose. It was largely ineffective. Just apply talc/corn starch/baby powder/what have you and get on with your day. I’m also growing increasing suspicious of lower end apparel that claims to “wick” moisture. I’m tempted to try super-lightweight wool underwear next time around.  It comes highly recommended, but I just kind of hate wool and I think it will take forever to dry on the line.

The opportunity for this trip presented its self suddenly and I didn’t prepare as thoroughly as usual.  One thing I forgot was my oft- stated goal of traveling with only a diaper bag.  I’m talking a full-on Care Bears and Rainbows diaper bag; maybe even hide some valuables inside a tied off plastic bag with a diaper that’s been made to look used .  I feel like it’s an unlikely target for theft and the standard size is an ambitious goal for lightweight packing.  Had I remembered I’d be traveling even lighter right now, but it only occurred to me the day before I began my multi-city trek to O’Hare.  I took a bus from Indianapolis and when I walked to my gate the 20-something kid waiting ahead of me seemed to be traveling with exactly this.  It wasn’t The Care Bears, it was some other animated pitch man for the feminine pre-teen dollar, but I don’t remember which.  And if this guy was traveling with a child he must have abandoned them at the bus station.  Kudos, anonymous bus passenger, but you don’t have to rub it in.

Instead I’m traveling with a pretty standard issue commuter backpack that *just* meets Spirit Air’s “personal item” dimensions.


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