in the bathrooms and bad motels

first, an image that my mother would prefer to block from her encyclopedic vault of knowledge of places her children have inhabited, if but for one night:

(managua, nicaragua, in a hostel recommended by footprints guide book as "a friendly place for backpackers.")

the picture doesn't do the shady level or the lack of bedding or the lack of safety justice, but i post it for a reason. namely, the memory and gut reaction that the image evokes every time i see it.

now, understand that we stayed at this hostel out of necessity. after a number of circumstances we will say were out of our hands, we arrived in managua in a shady area and after dark and after two days worth of bus rides. also, we weren't exactly in a position to argue with the pissed off taxi driver who was trying to tell us that we had agreed to a ten dollar fair on a four block ride (sure, my degree is in journalism, not math, and sure, my first language is english, not spanish, but there's no way that uno sounds like diez).

this hotel stay was followed by a morning involving a crowded intersection, a rusty knife and a sinking feeling in the gut. obviously, i don't want to go back, not physically and not in pictures either, really.

you see, i've been working up more pictures from the trip this week in an effort to get a better idea of the images i have as well as to send some pics off to friends i met on the road. multiple times, i opened up this image, shuddered and closed it, but i post it now because it evokes a polar opposite reaction to the image of friend and fellow farm worker amir below.

(near bahía de caraquez, ecuador, in transit back to río muchacho organic farm)

there are technical changes i would made to this image, had i my druthers, but the reason i post it, and the reason i'll keep it nearby for a while is my memory of those rides back to the farm every sunday evening.

our life at the farm, more or less, involved 1) waking up before the sun, 2) feeding the chickens or shoveling the pig sh*t, 3) breakfast, 4) farm work, 5) lunch, 6) farm work, 7) dinner, 8) sitting around a candle (because of the inevitable power outage) and talking, followed by 9) bed on account of the farm work.
but saturdays were ours. after completing numbers one through five, we would hit up the beach and club scene of bahía de caraquez and rub elbows with the locals and the national tourists.

doubtless to say, sundays were usually a little rough and were spent recouping and waiting for our truck-taxi ride back to the farm. these rides and this picture evoke everything about the farm to me because of the euphoric feeling i experienced as we rode through the coastal town and the farms and by the cock fights to the one place in those three months tavelling that felt like home.