An Expat Life: Nicaragua Blues and Ruse
Monday, June 11, 2007
Masacre de las Moscas (Massacre of the Flys)
'Among the attributes of God, although they are all equal, mercy shines with even more brilliancy than justice'
- Miguel de Cervantes
Another day in the life.....Nicaragua style. In our ongoing efforts to pursue the high life, while representing the US of A, Kim, Brodie, and I invited some friends over for a little American style BBQ. Well, considering the fact that we're in Nicaragua, without a proper outdoor grill, nor any of the 'authentic fixins' for a legitimate barbecue, we made out ok.
First of all, it must be said that preparing for a meal here in Managua is far different from driving up the street to Kroger and perusing the vast, air-conditioned aisles, combing over brand after brand of various patés, Doritos, and Alaskan King Crab. In Managua, you take what you can get. In this case, we were looking for a decent pork roast. Luckily, there is a Bavarian deli right up the street from our house. I'm convinced there is a German deli and British pub in every city on earth! Anyway, so, we're lucky enough to be close to 'Managua's German deli'. I took a guess that posta de cerdo is the closest thing to a pork roast, as my vocabulary isn't exactly spot-on perfect with the various cuts of meat. It simply looked like a pork roast (it was).
By this time, you may be asking yourself, how are you planning to have a barbecue without a grill?! Well, that's simple.....The night before, you make sure there is plenty of Toña (beer) and Flor de Caña (rum), ice cold of course. Afterwards, you ask your pregnant wife to boil eggs, peel potatoes, cook bacon, prepare potato salad, and baked beans, while you do some intricate planning for the following day (plug in the crock pot). Next, you lightly sprinkle cayenne and black pepper on the aforementioned unidentified hunk of pork. After this, you will have much thirst, which is an opportune time to do a quality check on the Toña. Finally, you can put the 'roast' into the crock pot on low, to cook overnight. With any luck, the following morning you will have pulled pork sandwiches, potato salad, and a baked bean casserole......3 American classics! like the Constitution, Statue of Liberty, and the Golden Gate Bridge.
So it went.....the preparation of the barbecue. The day of the barbecue went well for the most part. There was much reverie and good times to reflect upon. We invited a family from Spain, and another from Japan.....logical don't you think? Here we are, an American family hosting a southern barbecue with an unnamed pork cut from a German delicatessen in Nicaragua, for a Spanish and Japanese family. At any rate, everything was going great. the kids were playing futbol/soccer (not sure what to call it anymore) and a 3/4 yr. old watered down version of baseball, while the parents drank the aforementioned Toñas.....a peaceful Sunday afternoon (despite the presence of our 'energetic' Labrador Retriever, Stella). Then, shortly before the feast of pulled pork sandwiches, it happened.......invasion of the flies...
Now, folks. I've seen some flies in my day. I once worked at a Winn-Dixie as a young lad, and I had to clean out fruit crates from an non air-conditioned warehouse. I've been around my share of filth in my life (figuratively speaking as well .....hahahaha). Anyway, I rarely have seen anything like yesterday. Hyperbole aside, the flies really began to wreak havoc on our afternoon. It must've been excruciatingly difficult for our Spanish friends, as they had to endure 'interesting' Japanese and American renditions of their language, all the while with armies of insects buzzing in their faces. This probably isn't what they had in mind.
Perhaps in response, but to my amazement nonetheless, I discovered a Spanish talent that I knew not existed. The country that brought us the toreador, Velasquez, and the siesta, also brought us the fly assassin. With much skill and dexterity, I witnessed an insect slaughter of biblical proportions. Luis, armed only with old country swagger, Marlboros, and plastic swatter, swept through a legion of buzzing flies, leaving carcasses in his wake. The killing fields grew, through the haze of Toñas and Managua humidity. Before long, he confidently passed off the baton to his offspring, Mateo and Carlota, who quickly made work of a few, until it was Uncle Sam's turn to mete out justice. I'm ashamed to admit that the americanos didn't fare so well.
In all, a pleasant way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon......sans the flies.