Sunday, February 19, 2017


The company decided to send me on what could best be described as a fast paced Latin marathon where I would go to Nicaragua and the DR in a two day period, returning to Chicago on the third day. For some reason I said yes to this ridiculousness and got the tickets sorted.

Flights to Latin America are so easy. Such a short trip to leave the country. I'm upgraded to first class and spend a lot of time talking to an American who is developing houses and plantations really in Argentina. I find him interesting and we have too many drinks as we sit side by side on the flight.

"Well, time to pay the 10 dollars and get ready to go to work."

"What," I giggle a bit soaked in tequila at that point.

"You know, you have to pay 10 dollars at immigration."

"Are you serious?"

"Yes, of course, don't you know that?"

"I don't have any cash!"

"Oh, I don't know what to tell you. You better figure it out. No one gets in without paying."

Suddenly my new best friend goes silent on me and doesn't make eye contact with me for the rest of the 20 minutes of flight, as if I am some sort of pariah who leaves countries to travel to Nicaragua without cash. We deplane and I wait through the usual immigration lines.

I'm not panicked. I've done these things far to much I figure it will be an adventure. Honestly, it ended up not being to exciting.


I give the location of my hotel, say I'm touring, I'm only hear for a day. I don't bother trying to speak Spanish at immigration. We all just end up very confused.

"10 dollars, please."

"Do you take MasterCard?"


Problem solved.

I only really got to see Nicaragua that night and the next day on the way back to the airport. At night it has the hallucinogenic feeling of Korea at night, bright lights, random neon everywhere. Large luxury apartments that look like tenements. In the night it was cool and moist, that luxurious Latin humid that makes your skin feel rich and plumps my hair up until I look like I'm wearing a crown of oversized curls. In the day the heat washed over us in waves in the short time we were in it. I managed not to sweat through all my business ware before during and after several press conferences and a presentation. The roads shimmered on the way back to the airport.

On the flight out I had a layover in Panama.

Before going to the DR I decided on a whim I had better get cash. This would be a very good idea.

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