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How We Thwarted Nicaragua’s Bureaucracy with False-ish Documents

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It’s pretty much always the case that leaving a country is easier than getting in.

Instead Nicaragua seemed set on doing it the other way.

After an easy, friendly exit from Honduras, we reached the Nicaraguan border control and discovered that my vehicle registration was nowhere to be found.

Postcard of woman and white dog at a dirty border outpost

I started to whisper about where and when it might have disappeared, but Greg held up a hand to stop me.

I was trying to understand how we got into this situation while he was scheming a way to get us out of it.

“Perdone la demora, señor,” he said with absurd reverence as he held out a color photocopy of my title.

The pimple-faced twenty-year-old whose uniform was wrinkled and was playing a loud game on his phone eventually looked up to receive the document.

He seemed to scrutinize it quite thoroughly although he never took note of the offset corners or flipped it over to discover it was blank on the other side.

After what felt like an eternity of held breath and confounded expectations, he returned the document.

“Take your photocopies and this ticket to the window,” he said as he stamped a ticket, tore it from the pad, and handed it over to Greg.

We held our breath again as we walked over to the customs office window.

Greg made some friendly remarks as he arrange the documents. Then he placed the stamped ticket on the counter beside the photocopies.

“You’ve been so nice,” he said. “I sure hope I’ve arranged all the photocopies correctly for you, ma’am.”

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