Quisiera alquilar un auto…

Today started with adventures in renting a car.  I decided that I needed more independence to get around  – I don’t like being dependent on coworkers, and others.

Other than the last part of the transaction, we did it all in Spanish and the guy was really good at annunciating and speaking slowly.  I’m such a gringo.

Here is my car for a week – a Suzuki Celerio (known as the Alto in other markets).  It’s a cute small car:


Suzuki CelerioSuzuki Celerio

I’m struggling with the language and that’s okay.  I am also tired and need a good sleep in, so that is factoring with my ability to take in learning.  I have to admit, I’m beating myself up for the lost opportunity in Managua to really learn Spanish from my nieces and nephews, especially talking and listening which is really what I need now.  My reading is not too bad and I have Google Translate to help, and that is actually helping me to learn.

Another trick I am using is, using the Spanish autocorrect.  I type part of a word I’m thinking of, it autofills to a point and then I add the correct ending.  It’s actually quite brilliant, and lets me learn and guess as I learn the language.

At lunch, Juan, one of my co-workers said that he would work with me on speaking and listening.  Yay!  I know my cousin Tim has also wanted to help – the problem has been I’m not often in a place where I can sit and think when he pings me on BBM.  And this is something where I need to stop for an hour and actually think and learn and absorb.

Anyway, I survived getting to work – took me an hour.  Ruta 8 through the city is NOT the way to go.  The route next to the ocean and through Carrasco is the way to go.  It’s faster.

People drive everywhere in this city.  I mean, when you’re driving in what you think is a lane… people don’t drive in lanes.  Now, I’ve heard about this in other countries, I’ve just not experienced it first hand.  I was laughing my way back to the hotel.

Another curious thing, and I understand why it is done – they have speed bumps on what looks to be a fairly major and fast road.  Well they’re traffic calming zones because there are definitely more pedestrian-oriented areas.  In short, people crossing the street everywhere, I nearly ran over a dog, and horse & buggies riding down the street.  It’s an interesting cross-section of cultures here, much like what I felt in Managua, just different.

Tomorrow, I will get out and explore the city in daylight and do a bit of work.  I hate having things hanging over my head – self imposed, really.

BTW – I forgot how much I enjoy driving stick.  A LOT of fun!

And now two pieces of music I’m dancing away to:

  • I would embed the video for this music moment, but unfortunately you’ll have to click the link.  Saint Etienne – Tonight.  I’ve been a fan for 18 years, they rock.
  • And now for some Fangoria – Live! (Thanks Sebastian!)

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