Not ready to be Nicaraguan
Sometimes I become aware that I am not ready to be Nicaraguan. The past few days has made me very aware once again. Don't think of this as a complaint -- just a reality check.
Last week I went to BanPRO to re-activate a savings account which they had de-activated because I wasn't making any transactions. Ignoring that stupid concept, the real issue was that they changed the rules for what they needed on file (for a business account). So, I did all the stuff they requested and went to do the re-activation. After about an hour of answering questions they already had the answers to interspersed with the usual interruptions the muchacha said "Everything is ready now. You just need to submit a request to re-activate the account stamped with the company seal."
Now, writing letters is easy and stamping them with the company seal is easy -- if it isn't 1.5 hours away. So, I told them I would probably get back to them some time next year.
A couple of days later I was back in the bank involved in a different transaction. A person had wired money from the US and was told by BanPRO in Managua that the money was now in BanPRO. Bottom line is that it magically wasn't and, in fact, never would be because the US bank screwed up the wire.
Today I went to Estelí to pick up my pump/tank. I was told it would be available in the afternoon. Here I made a mistake. I always think that expression means "after lunch" but the reality is that it generally means "around closing time". This, by the way, is not unique to Nicaragua. The same interpretation is needed in Costa Rica.
Forgetting this rule, I got to Estelí at about 2PM. I confess this part was my error -- but the following was not. I was told the pump would not be there until 3PM. I ran a few errands but mostly wasted time until almost 3PM Nicaragua time also known as 4PM clock time. I went in and asked the muchacha how much longer before it was Nicaraguan 3PM.
She explained that the pump was on the bus and she would pick it up herself at the bus station at 5 "y punto". I told her I would come back some day and left.
Having run a business where missing a deadline could mean a magazine not getting printed for weeks, I am probably a bit more anal than most about wasting time/being on time. I probably will never recover. For the rest of you, think about how flexible you will be.