The past couple of days haven’t been exceptionally noteworthy. I mean, I’m in Costa Rica, so everything is awesome. But my days are kind of lazy right now. I bought flip-flops. I found the local shop for getting business cards, flyers, and prints made. Waved twice to the mechanic at the bike shop. Nothing special. There are a few things that have caught my attention (beyond everything beautiful) which I wanted to note, if only for historical purposes. Mostly impressions.
1) I look forward to the twilight hour so much here. Because I’m always sitting here at home on the porch. The light that touches everything has been dimmed to that one magical setting. Children run and laugh in the street. There’s a stillness in the air. Porch lights come on. The neighbors play their music after getting home from work for the day. Everything is perfectly at peace in the world. This hour has always been my favorite. It’s other-worldly.
2) The section of Herradura that I live in is entirely local. Ticas and Ticos. It’s a working class neighborhood. People everywhere. Babies, small children, teenagers, adults of all ages, the elderly. Not densely populated. Just living in this neighborhood. Walking. Riding bicycles. Sitting on porches. Sweeping yards. Living here for any length of time, it would seem like a person would know everyone in the neighborhood.
Dogs wander around. They sit outside of the little corner store. They cross roads, aware of the traffic. They play with children.
I am so completely happy here. I know that for some people, this would seem like a horrible location. It’s heaven to me. It’s local. It’s warm. It’s not a room at the Marriott that looks like the 100 other rooms at the Marriott. I actually hate seeing chain hotels here. They are ugly, cookie cutter, and feel almost criminal, taking away from the natural beauty of the place. It bothers me to no end to see that a section of cliff at Playa Herradura has been filled by box after box of identically manufactured hotel rooms. It ruins any photograph of that end of the beach, in my opinion.
This, though… I love. I’ve talked to the owner and it’s likely that I’ll stay in this house through the end of April. That will allow me some more time to figure out where I want to be longer term without putting a rush on me to find a place to settle into right after Zach leaves in early April.
3) There’s a certain type of lizard (maybe all of them, I don’t know) that chirps. I know this because I saw one on the wall the other night in the kitchen. Then he disappeared into the shadows. And then he chirped. Then he reappeared and chirped again. I confirmed this the next day when I saw a lizard outside and then heard the chirp again.
4) This new chapter in my life feels, at times, like my trip across the United States. For example, I am traveling alone and don’t know anyone so my interactions are pretty minimal. Brief exchanges when there is a purchase of goods or services. My days are spent mostly in silence.
5) Being alone like this has certain limitations here. For example, I’m home before the sun sets and in for the remainder of the night. Why? Because I’m a gringo in Costa Rica and travel everywhere alone. It’s far too risky for bright-eyed me to be pedaling my way into town to get a drink at the bar. And definitely not all the way to Jacó though it’s no problem at all during the day. I suppose I could catch a taxi, but I don’t like incurring unnecessary expenses. And I don’t want to go out to be by myself. I wish I had someone to hang out with here, but I have yet to meet anyone. And meeting someone would probably be a drag for them because I’d want to do stuff that they probably got burnt out on years ago. I imagine.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not lonely. I do fine alone. For extended periods of time. But I wish I had someone else or knew other people just because it would be so much easier. AND more fun. Like we could go out AND I could take my camera. We could watch the sunset. AND I could take pictures.
And too, you know that I absolutely LOOOOVE people and I always love my friends. So much, I do. So talking to them and socializing with them would be just great. Not just convenient. 🙂 People aren’t meant to live life alone. We’re communal creatures. So I’m looking forward to making friends.
6) Last night, I discovered that Netflix is awesome in Costa Rica!!!! When I logged in, I got a little popup message stating that the selection of programs may be different now that I was logging in from a foreign country. Man, they weren’t kidding! The selection of movies is vastly different from what’s available in the US!! It’s still mostly filled with American films and shows, but like… good stuff. Not like after you first sign up for Netflix and, after watching the three movies you’d actually watch, you’re left wading through film after horrible film, finding one gem in ten.
Up until last night, the only thing I’ve had to do in the evenings is either fiddle-faddle on the internet or watch horse rodeos being broadcast very fuzzily on every channel on the television with the rabbit ears. Don’t think I haven’t spent half an hour trying to make the static disappear. So I could watch horse rodeos in Spanish. Because I totally have. So having Netflix and all kinds of new movies?!?! There’s plenty for me to do during the day. I’m not going to feel guilty about this! Don’t judge me!
7) I know I had other items I had noted, but they’re totally slipping my mind. And it’s getting on in the evening and I need to do stuff if I’m going to watch a couple of movies!!
8) Oh. The food. Oh my god, the food. $5 on the high end for a full plate of food at any number of “sodas” or these little restaurants. Which are typically a handful of picnic tables and chairs and a short menu (if one exists at all beyond a whiteboard or some pictures). I stopped by one this afternoon on the way home from the beach and…. my god, it was soooo good!! Nothing fancy. Rice, beans, meat and onions in a sauce, tomato, lettuce, orange, cooked plantains, a drink. Just every single bite was rich and delicious and yum. And the size? It’s pretty much 2+ days worth of food for me.
Also, on a dietary related note, I’ve been drinking a lot of juice. Not so much coke. Definitely a lot more juice and tea than I’ve had in the previous couple of decades. Happy about that. And very, very happy about the food. 🙂
9) OK, so it looks like I did remember a couple of items. My farmer’s tan is disappearing. And there are some new photos in the galleries. Not of my tan. 🙂