2009 January 28
by Levi Weintraub

So I’ve already said my $0.02 on crossing the Honduran border. But aside from the complete lack of national pride evidenced by our first perception of the place, it didn’t get a lot better. I have a tendency to wave to pretty much everyone on the highway. Bicyclists, truckers, motorcycle and scooter riders, pedestrians, and people just hanging around, I wave at pretty much anyone who makes eye contact. An amazing thing about most of Central America, is nearly everyone waves back! The gruffest of individuals sometimes undergo complete attitude transformations, going from vacant or unhappy to beaming and waving like school children. Truckers who we’ve passed on the highway will often go by honking and waving 15 minutes later after we’ve pulled over for gas or a drink. In Honduras, nearly no one waved. Most stared blankly, seemingly confused as to why my hand was in the air. It was night and day from El Salvador.

We arrived in Choluteca, not nearly as far along in Honduras as we hoped to have been. CA-1 was poorly labled through the city, and a stroke of luck dumped us on the main road out of town, where we spotted a bank of hotels and found an overpriced dump that we settled for. On my way out of the lobby after paying for my dinner, an Honduran woman who spoke English fluently asked if we needed help. It was the only random act of kindness we experienced in the country.

We found an ATM in the Wendy’s parking lot, and ended up settling for food there as well. At least there was no risk of Honduran food adding to our list of issues with the place. We had a couple beers and smoked cubans on the unfinished roof deck in a feeble attempt at forgetting the border insanity. After some reading, I went to the only bar I saw in the area, which happened to be across the street. Somehow, nearly everyone there was a male to female transgender, and it ended up being at least an interesting night of conversation. Though not really my goal, I did at least seem to be the most popular person there that night!

The next morning, we sampled our only Honduran food… Perhaps breakfast was the wrong decision? We picked a small family restaurant near our hotel and ordered two orders of their “breakfast.” This consisted of a scrambled egg (my Dad’s had egg shells), uninspired beans, a slice of fried bologne, and some awful cheese. Our coffee was about 1/3rd sludge. The ATM had given us a bill worth about $25 USD, and no place had been willing to take it. Out of sufficient currency in any other form, we gave it to the people at the restaurant, who after making sure we couldn’t possibly pay any other way, went searching around the area trying to find change. After 10 minutes of searching without a solution, the bank across the street opened, and they managed to make change. Later that day, my Dad felt sick to his stomach and blamed the meal.

We got an early start out, with dreams of our escape dancing in our heads. Nearing the border, we climbed to incredible heights, the temperature dropping from very hot to very cold, and the houses rising from hovels to mansions. Finally, as we began our descent to the border, we were stopped by our first truly corrupt cops (again, read about it here), and proceeded to the Nicaragua border.

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