Well, if my first two days in Costa Rica are any indication of things to come, then I think Im going to seriously enjoy living here for for a good half year.
Although in the future I would like to avoid such flight debacles as we endured on the way down. Namely our plane out of DFW slamming on the brakes mid-takeoff as we careened down the tarmac. The pilot said something about electrical difficulties. The fire
trucks came out and inspected the rig. We waited hours for repairs before re-takeoff (second time successful, thankfully).
The silver lining came in the two-for-one wine offering with dinner. The 360 mL of cheap red Cali hooch made the flight quite enjoyable (though I was poring over some tense swashbuckling action in Robinson Crusoe. Friday is the man!).
But so far things have been excellent. About 20 of us are bunking in my friend Diana´s parents' house, so getting to know people has been quite natural if not forceably intimate. Reminds me of Stuart extended family vacations back in "the cabin" in Colorado. People. Food. Laughing. Tight quarters. Card games. Late evenings. Etc.
But as for the Costa Ricans, from what I´ve observed they are a beautiful people. I´ve already done the embracing, side-of-face kissing thing with a few peeps. I love it. Diana´s local relatives aren´t so keen with the English, so it´s been great to bring my Spanish skills out of storage, carefully dust them and attempt to relay ideas. My sentences are basic, but mostly I understand everything.
Contrast this with Puerto Ricans who speak a brand of Spanish that makes mothers cover their children´s ears and send them running for cover. But my linguistic pursuits thus far dwarf all Chinese exploits of a fortnight past. It´s amazing how much more familiar a place feels when you can simply chew the fat with Ernesto and Guillermo after a meal of rice and beans.
Other items of interest include our romp up Urizu, a 12,000 foot volcano near San Jose. It erupted in ´63 and took out some locals. Thankfully the geologic giant slept peacefully for us to get some shots at the summit and bask in the panoramics and 40 degree temps.
Yestereve we also ventured 40 strong to the local indoor futbol paddock for some camaraderie boosting play. The locals were there drinking cheap ones and cheering us on (though probably making fun of the whities, I suspect). It would have been more enjoyable if I possessed ANY soccer skills and also if I´d avoided that stray header that impacted my face and upper lip (read: bloodied nose and cut inner lip. did I mention I loath braces? quite literally a nashing of teeth).
But all in all Costa Rica is a land of infinite beauty it seems. San Jose sits at about 3,500 feet of elevation and the days are in the mild 70s and nights in the 60s. In a word, perfect. I´ve already spotted bikers aplenty, and the mountains bolster the cityscape with dense vegetation and low hanging cloud cover. Again, muy bueno.
Interestingly, street addresses don´t really exist here. Need directions to mi casa? No problem. Go down the main street, turn left at the old oak tree (that might not exist anymore), go 200 meters, hang a left at the pink house, swerve down the alley with the garbage cans, and it´s the yellow house straight ahead. The one with the bars on the windows. Oh wait, they all have bars.
Something like this.
So, this is long and sadly no pictures as I´m bumming a comp to write this.
Tomorrow we´re catching fish that we´ll eat and then beaching it from Thursday onwards. This country is wonderful. While I´m here living, visitors are wanted. You won´t be disappointed.