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Happenings around the casa

June 22, 2012

Let me tell you about some things you might not know about life in Granada.

There is some danger of being attacked by a monkey – well, not exactly in the city but close by.  The owner of the house where I live is in town and took some friends on a boat tour of the little islands (Las Isletas) in Lake Nicaragua where Granada is located.  One island has a small colony of friendly monkeys who will come in the boat and you can feed them bananas and pet them.  Based on the story she told me, you better be really polite when you ask them to leave…….or else. She was bitten three times in a matter of seconds when she gave it a little push to leave.

The sidewalks are very interesting as they often have designs.  A very common design is a reddish and grey colored pattern. The sidewalk in front of my house is dark grey and white, and there are many other interesting patterns as well as plain. Here is a photo of the house with Esmeralda and Maria in the doorway. All houses have those metal gates and a heavy wooden door behind them.

 Next is a photo of an ingenious invention, the movable garage entrance ramp.

 If you have a car you either rent a garage space somewhere or you have a garage in your house. INSIDE your house, like in the space right next to the living room or sala. So to get the car in the house you have to get from the street into the house over the sidewalk.  Kind of a leap.  Hence the grates which can be folded up off the street but rarely are, and are used to drive from the street, over the sidewalk and up into your house.  See the tiered concrete built over the sidewalk to the left of the grate/ramps?  That is the slope up into the house. These are a bit hard to walk on as you go down the sidewalk toward your destination, but necessary for car owners.

The grates are not nearly as challenging as the man-hole covers, or lack thereof. In all sidewalks are holes, about a fifteen inches deep, that usually hold the water turn off and meter for the house next to it. They are supposed to have covers on them, either concrete or metal.  Many of the metal covers are gone, possibly stolen for the value of the metal.

This  leaves just the hole in the sidewalk which you will probably have trouble seeing in the dark.  After nearly falling into one – pure luck that my foot landed on the front edge and I caught myself – I now walk looking down most of the time especially at night. They are also often full of dirt, trash or black water.

The roofs of the houses have two layers. The first level is made of cane and that is what you see when you look up at the ceiling from inside.  The outer level is overlapping ceramic or clay.  These layers are why it is possible for bats to nest in the roofs.  Here are photos of men repairing a traditional roof.  If your home or business is in the central area of Granada you are required to have this type of roof.

When picking your friends go for the thin ones. This woman’s bike tires are nearly flat from the weight of the guy riding on the bar and her legs were so stretched out to accommodate his bulk, that I don’t know how she was able to pedal him down the street. It  is way better to be more evenly matched  or to let the larger person pedal.

Here are some interesting critters that have visited my room recently. That worm was 5 inches long and acted like a snake.

Finally, here are some photos of the shop that makes the pinatas.  They are hanging all over the shop, in all sizes, shapes and colors. It always looks like a party there.

Granada is such an interesting city!

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