ABYM #3: Always Assume Everything Will Go Wrong, And You Will Always Be Right

Posted: January 15, 2012 in ABYM Rules
Tags: , ,

This rule, like Never Go First, is one that I will periodically violate only to take a moment and realize that I should’ve known better.

It is difficult to explain how deeply this affects everything I do down here. When I plan to build something, set up a crew, try to buy something, or really even just leave the office I always keep in my head at least 3 contingency plans.

A lot of times I like to think about each task I need done and think of the most annoying Monopoly Chance card that could be written about it and go from there.

You need some wood for shelves but there is a regional wood shortage. Wait 5 weeks.

You need to get to the capital city but there is a worker strike in San Benito, wait 5 hours.

You walk 90 minutes to the base of the mountain where you work and someone puts a sign that says: “No Gringos or Canadians.” Lose a turn and go back to the office.

You try and take a stream sample and a drunk campesino with a bow and arrow aims it…turn around and go back.

You arrive at the Nicaragua airport and attempt to pay the entrance fee in Cordobas, the national currency, and are told that they are not accepted and that you need dollars. Argue with the attendant until he acquiesces. (Rules are very flexible here.)

You don’t speak spanish, and your campesino driver activates the alarm lock on the truck and you can’t get home because he is illiterate and can’t read the driver’s manual. Dictate the section on “llaves” until he figures it out.

You are on top of a mountain and a storm comes out of nowhere and floods all the rivers around you 10 feet. Wait 6 hours.

The whole country doesn’t have addresses. I don’t feel the need to be clever with this one, it’s so goddamn insane.

You try and get across Managua and it takes 3.5 hours due to tremendous gridlock and construction detours to find that all the workers are sleeping in the shade next to the machines and no one is working. *cue head explosion*

and……..the number one example…..

You are on a plane flying to Nicaragua explaining Rule #3 to an anxious businessman ready to start work in Nicaragua and hear the captain say: “Uhhh folks….I don’t know what to tell you, but the Nicaraguan airport is closed. We are turning around to go back to Houston. In my 30 years of flying I have never experienced something like this.”

The reason? Construction.

You think they were working?





Yeah, neither did I.

*(Photo Credit:  Alicia Hurst)


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