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Voyages of los Testigos - Part 9, Page 2

Oh, Canada

Farther along the decaying road, a large building appeared. A pock-marked roof had caved into the burnt out hull of the building, leaving a deserted cement hulk. "That's the old customs station," Nuco said. "The Contras destroyed it."

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"Maybe we should file with the US embassy and let them know we're visiting," Capn suggested.

"Why?" Nuco asked, not bothering to hide his disdain.

"Apparently, US and Nicaraguan relations are at an all time low," Capn explained. "Our State Department accuses Nicaragua of violations of the Geneva convention."

"Ppff!" Nuco spat. "The State Department people are the ones to stay away from. And the embassy Marines, unless you're looking to buy dope or cheap stereo equipment."

"Imagine el capitán in jail with perverts who like white ass and are full of revolutionary fervor," the BigGuy joked, evoking laughs from the group.

The encounters with the Sandinistas and the bombed out Nicaraguan customs building had pressed the BigGuy's mind into fast think again, and by the time the last piece of Honduran turf had disappeared behind them, he had chosen a new agenda. It took him a while to decide how he would drop the political bombshell that went with his new course, but after setting his face into its now familiar mask of straight lines and sweat, he decided to just out with it. "I know what I'm going to say when they come at me," he said.

"What's that?" Medio asked.

"I'm going to say that I'm Canadian."

"How are you going to do that?" Capn asked.

"I'll simply tell everyone I meet that I'm Canadian," the BigGuy replied.

"You still worried about what that gringo in Telucigallo told you?" Medio asked.

"What gringo?" Nuco asked.

"Some guy at the party last night said that when he was in Nicaragua, he was treated poorly," Medio said.

"Nicaraguans are friends of the American people," Nuco said.

"Right," the BigGuy said, "but how long will they be friendly? Our government is waging a war against them."

"Not your government, you're Canadian," Nuco chided his northward-fleeing friend.

"I still don't see how you're going to pass for a Canadian," Capn insisted.

"You should've brought a couple maple leaf t-shirts, eh?" Nuco said.

"He can't skate," Capn added. "He's never going to pass."

"I think you could pass," Medio said. "You're tall, white, and quite international-looking."

"I think Nicaraguans will be much friendlier to a Canadian," the BigGuy said, warming to the idea. "I mean, Canadians aren't out there destroying their country."

"You've got an American passport," Capn reminded the BigGuy.

"One look at that passport and you'll be getting butt-fucked in a Nicaraguan jail cell," Nuco scoffed.

The travelers walked in silence until a small group of soldiers and civilians appeared ahead of them. The group ahead awaited the bus that ferried people to the new Nicaraguan customs area.

"Got your Canadian accent ready?" Capn asked.

"I don't think we have anything to worry about," Medio said. "If we run into any of those unfriendly Nicaraguans the gringo in Teguligalpo talked about, we can buy their friendship. "We've got money."

"Yes," the BigGuy concluded, "we are rich men."

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