Monday, February 15, 2010

Take me out to the market and ballgame

I arrived back in Oasis Hostal in Granada before noon, where I checked in and drop off my backpack and laundry and caught a bus to Masaya to visit its handicraft market.

The Old Market sells mostly locally made goods to tourists. There are hand made hammocks, shoes, paintings, wood carvings etc. I wasn't impressed by the selections as I was only looking for small and light weight items. So I bought only 3 tiny oil paintings and 2 wood/paintings. I also want to visit the workshops where some of the stuff were made, but the tourist office was closed so I have no map to the workshops. I did manage to find a shoe shop near the tourist office, but no pictures are allowed. So I decided to take a taxi to a neighborhood mention in the book and find my way around there. After arriving at Monimbo neighborhood, I walked around and did not see anything. Then I notice a museum and the lady at the desk spoke some English, and she decided to show me a sandal making place near by. To my surprise she led me to a what looked a mud house dump, and in it the family are making sandals. I would not have found the mom and pop place by myself! Afterward she ask if I was interested in more shops, I told her no (not too impressed with the shoe shops) and she had her helper get me a cab to catch a bus back to Granada.

John from Apoyo told me about baseball game he saw in Granada the first time he was here 3 weeks ago. So I decided to inquire about if there is a game in the city tonight. I was told there is a game on, but wasn't sure about starting time. Knowing baseball is the national sports of Nicaragua and their hero El Presidente is Dennis Martínez, I decided to try catch a game tonight. Before I do that I went to the market to get a bottle of 7 year rum by Flor de Caña, the most expensive one in the market for $7 and left in the locker unwrapped (what a mistake, more on the sad story later). I figure Granada is the last big city I will be in Nicaragua so I should get a bottle before I leave the country in few days.

I then went to the main square to see if I missed any good photo ops the first time I was here. There I saw Eda from the airport/Leon. I went up to say hi to her and her new travel friend Joel, a literature professor who is also from Vancouver. They have planned to meetup at Granada. Joel had just arrived today. They both checked into Oasis as well and we decided to walk around the town a little before have dinner together. We caught up on what's happening since we parted way back in Leon. And during the dinner time we asked the waiter what time is the baseball game, and he informed us it is at 6PM. Joel and I were both interested in seeing the game while Eda is interested in catching a children's play near by, and in the end Joel and I win out. We caught a taxi to the stadium and purchased a bleacher seat behind the home team Sharks' dugout. I believe we were the only non-native people watching that night. We each paid $1.75 for the game and round trip taxi ride!

As for the game itself (vs team from Rivas) it has the similar things you see in the states, but with many local characters. The stadium itself is not much to look at. Vendors sells various local food/snacks/drinks. There is a fence separate the seats the field of play all around. But you can get up to the fence and talk to the players if you wish. I used this opportunity to get some close up shots of the players, which would never happen in the states unless you paid big buck or under special circumstances. There were kids play their own version of baseball with empty soft drink bottles. The fan cheer with whistles or whistling. The game was scoreless through the 9 innings. Definitely no steroid usage here, most of the ball hit didn't travel too far. During top of the 10th, the Rivas' manager argued with a ball/strike call, and got into heated shouting match with the home plate empire and was toss out the game. The empire responded by kicking the bat that was on the field, a twist to what you would see in the states. The game ended in the bottom of the 10th when the Sharks got a hit with base loaded. The fans and player quickly exited the game, the stadium lights started to be turn off before we all made out of it! I guess electricity is expensive down here. We caught a taxi back to the hostal and call it a night. As I went into my dorm I noticed a guy already sleeping, not wanting to disturb him too much, I unlocked my locker in the dark and grab my backpack to look for things. Then the sound of a bottle broke on the floor, my expensive rum like that was gone. I told the front desk I needed to clean up the accident and they got me a mob so I can clean up. I felt a bit stupid for not take care the bottle when got it earlier. I told Eda and Joel about and was debating whether to get a replacement or not.

1 comment:

Lynn said...

Don't bother with the rum, its too hard to carry it around! Local crafts are a better bet :)