14 March 2007

Remember That Time We Got Tear-Gassed In Nicaragua?

I was visiting my friend, Jana, in Nicaragua (Nick too...but he was taking a nap). So, Jana and I go to the market to get some fruit. As we're about to leave...me carrying a watermelon and her carrying a backpack and canvas bag full of fruit...my eyes start stinging, and I get the taste of fireworks (you know when you can taste sparklers in the air) in my mouth. And at first I think "Oh we're passing a barbecue," or something weird. But then I notice everybody around is walking, or running, away. So...we try to get away from it. First we walk into a little salon place at the market. But it's all more or less open air, so they are trying to get away from this stinging feeling too (I'm crying and spitting). Worst thing, was seeing a little kid crying--not understanding (not that the rest of us understood). So, we kept walking. Bear in mind, I'm still carrying a big watermelon. And just walk, hoping to get away from this substance...whatever it was. We finally get to some back exit of the market and are away from the "horror." But we still don't necessarily know what it is. And I spit the whole way back, and we just hope it wasn't some sort of chemical agent and worry about how far it spread and we worry about poor Nick, locked in the house, cause it's gated and we took the keys. Finally we make it back, Nick's fine (still asleep, I think) and we turn on the radio and call Jana's boss, who has a tv, to see if we can find out anything. Later Jana's boss calls back and tells us two guys were arrested for throwing cans of tear gas into the market. Oh and I just remembered, that right before this happened at the market, we witnessed an altercation between a drunk guy and his girlfriend...we were trying to walk around this situation. Big sigh---we're not going to die. Still spitting (like a camel).