Monday, January 18, 2010

I Actually Returned from Costa Rica...

...and I promised a full report. My report will not be as robust as it might have been when I stepped off the plane in San Francisco back in August. Since then, I've been caught up in work and medical procedures and then work again. Ahh, Costa Rica, I miss you.

My report in brief:

  • The Southeastern side of the country (area I visited) apparently doesn't have the tourism infrastructure like the Western side. Is this good? bad? I'm not sure. People have their own definitions of "authentic experience." Poor doesn't necessarily equate with authentic.
  • On a four hour bus ride from Puerto Viejo to San Jose, I had two different strangers offer to help me find the correct bus stops at each city I stopped in for a transfer. I don't think I had a panic, lost look on my face?...I'd prefer to think they were much more tuned in to looking out for others, even if others are strangers.
  • Fruit always tastes incredible and other-worldly in the tropics. Why do we even bother with importing pineapples and papayas?
  • In the San Jose Airport, there were acrylic boxes set-up randomly in the terminals. Essentially, gigantic piggy banks, advertising different Costa Rican programs that your leftover colons could help fund. Some were for drug addiction and others were for food distribution. I can't remember if there are similar repositories in US International Terminal. Do foreign visitors to the US attempt to get rid of coins and dollars before they leave?
  • My friend who I was traveling with brought her computer to Costa Rica so she could work on some school papers. The internet was flaky at our bungalow. Whenever she notified reception that the internet was down, the attendant was highly annoyed when she had to reset. Consistent internet connection wasn't important to many Costa Ricans I met. Consistent internet connection seems to be something I can't live without, even though I remember the time when it didn't exist. I also remember it in its nascent stage, when I was gracious and patient with it...excusing the modem as it made its strange, grating dial-up connection sounds. I would go make a snack and let it do it's thing. I wonder if the internet is just at a different stage in Costa Rica or if it will ever become a source of obsession like it is here?
  • The pace was slow and I enjoyed every lagging moment in Puerto Viejo. I love that I was able to go to a Sloth sanctuary and see how slow is not only good, but actually adorable.
  • I was reminded that fresh fish does not come on ice.
  • I'm so incredibly spoiled to have access to hot water at all times of the day.

1 comment:

  1. The third world definitely gives you a wake up call, especially the whole not having hot water thing. We take that so much for granted over here. This was a much needed vacation for you I'm sure. And "nascent" is my new favorite word! =)