February 3, 2012

Where The Streets Have No Name

Like  other Nicaraguan cities and towns, Managua has very few street signs.  Only the major roads are named.  Large buildings, rotundas (traffic circles) and other historic sites serve as points of reference.  Just to complicate matters a bit more, many of these references no longer exist. 

Directions are described in terms of their direction and distance, usually in cuadras (blocks) from these points.  In addition, Managua has a special system for north (al lago or to the lake), south (sur), west (abajo or down) and east (arriba or up). 

Thus you might hear and we have said, “de donde fue el banco popular, una cuadra al lago, dos cuadras abajo,” which means from where the old popular bank used to be, (it has not been there since the 70’s) one block north and two blocks west.

All of this seemed quite overwhelming at first, but we would say that we are feeling increasingly comfortable with navigating the city as we spend many hours on public buses getting to know our new surroundings. To top things off the bus routes in Managua are not posted, nor is there a schedule. On the bright side an adventure awaits a bus stop away!

P.S. Kevin is not the biggest fan of U2, which in my opinion is quite unfortunate. I was grateful that he gave the “okay” to use their song title as our blog post!


Megan said...

I never knew Kevin wasn't a big fan of U2...that changes my entire opinion of him.... :) miss you guys!

Cassie and Kevin Zonnefeld said...

love it megan!!

TJ said...

so who is the "go to" navigator when push comes to shove out of the two of you? I'm gonna guess Kev...Can you guess who would end up leading Jodi and I around?

Were you able to use everything in our care package or did some of it end up being disguarded?

Love you guys!

Deb said...

love the U2 title. Super interesting about directions in the city. So...does this mean you guys are sketching maps while you ride the bus? :) love you guys! xo