First impressions

I’ve managed to find an Internet café just down the road in Teguc. It’s basically a living room with three computers in it, but it does the job.

Literally everyone has a gun here. Someone ran across the road in front of us with a massive shotgun, and the banks and even some supermarkets sport their share of armed heavies. But it feels safe enough, so long as you don’t wander the streets alone at night.

I haggled a taxi driver from 50 to 40 Lempira for a twenty-minute ride. To put that in perspective, there are 39 Lempira to the Pound. God, this place is cheap. I felt chuffed in Miami when I knocked the guy down from $33 to $30 – here we’re talking pennies either way. The taxis are literally falling apart: our one had a cracked windscreen, and most of the interior was held together with masking tape. But it all adds to the fun.
Addresses seem to change daily: there are no street-signs, so you rely on landmarks. The best we could find near our house was a man washing his car. There’s a Rio-style statue of Jesus overlooking the city. Equally visible beside the Messiah is a vast Coca-Cola logo, emblazoned on the hill Hollywood-style. Which just about sums up the influence that global branding has had on this country.

Tegucigalpa, Honduras – 8th March 2005

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