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Living with the Nicas

You moved to Nicaragua, settled into your new home and already know your neighbourhood, nearest stores, the best movie theaters, the most beautiful places to spend the weekend.

Now it is time to take up the adventure of learning the language, drive your car through Nicaragua and mingle with the locals.

Driving in Nicaragua isn’t so bad because of the traffic, but because of the potholes. Streets in Nicaragua are not known for their good quality and during the rainy season flooding of the roads adds to the problem. The variety of cars is amazing as well, as you can see the newest BMW driving side by side with the oldest Toyota, the latter struggling to make it uphill. Motorcycles will wriggle through the traffic, hardly avoiding side mirrors and from time to time you can even see horses pulling carts through the city traffic.

At the traffic lights you can enjoy jugglers or fire-eaters while waiting for the light to turn green, or you can buy your fruits, vegetables, newspapers, phone chargers and many other things while standing in traffic. And if your car windows need cleaning there will most certainly be the right person to do it for you against a small fee. And once you reached your destination and park your car, there will be someone to watch your car while you enjoy your shopping spree or dinner. And if you are really lucky they may even wash your car while you are gone.

The language, even though Spanish like in the neighbouring countries, has its own vocabulary that might differ in some instances from other countries. A word that i.e. is a very bad insult in Panama is commonplace expression for a plate. And if you are accustomed to the friendly “tu” between friends in Nicaragua the more formal “vos” is used.

Dinner parties in Nicaragua are not the same as dinner parties in the USA or Europe. People love to meet and talk before dinner starts and even though the invitation says i.e. 7:00 PM most guests will arrive at least half an hour late. Once everybody has arrived it is still not time to eat, first drinks will be served and people exchange news and talk about everything and anything. When it is finally time to eat the host will wish everybody “Buen Provecho” and dinner takes its course. The same will happen of course if you invited local guests, be prepared that your guests will show up late, so plan the menu you want to offer accordingly and go with the flow enjoying a great time with your new friends.

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