Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Last Casado

It´s 7:52 here in Alajuela which is the city close to the San Jose International Airport. We arrived after a grueling four hour bus ride from Manuel Antonio and immediately went out to an upscale Soda called La Cosina De La Abuela. Claire had her usual vegetarian casado (rice, beans, plantains, salad, sauteed vegetables) and I had mine con pollo frito. It was good honest cooking and a perfect way to end our stay here in Costa Rica. We are sleeping at a cheap hostel as we have to be up at around 3 oclock to make it to the airport for our 6:30 am flight. The room is not much to see... we only hope there aren´t too many bugs.

Which brings me to the main point of this post. It´s been three days now since we first arrived in Dominical, a small, American expat, surfer town on the central Pacific Coast. We were convinced to stay at a certain hotel (the name of which now escapes me) by a surfer on the bus, who said it was super clean and had all the amenities including HBO and cinemax in english. The deal breaker was that the proprietor gave us a room for 20$ which otherwise would have cost 45. It was small and ugly, but it was a relief to be somewhere sterile. OR so we thought.

After watching the second half of Swordfish, we fell asleep to the grinding song of the AC unit. At around three in the morning, Claire woke me with a start and said, ¨something was on me.¨ At first I thought she was just talking in her sleep, but then she insisted that she had felt something on her chest. I turned on the light and got up to go to the bathroom. When I returned I was horrified to see a giant Cucaracha on the side of the bed, right next to where I had minutes before been soundly asleep. Oh my god, I said, and my face must have instantly reflected the situation at hand. Claire stayed still until the thing scurried on to the top of the bed near her feet.

After that there was a moment of panick but I quickly regained my calm. Had it been the beginning of our trip, I probably wouldn´t have felt capable of doing anything, and we might have slept in the pool ouside. But after threading so many fishing hooks through sardine eyeballs I felt sufficiently empowered to excercise my human might over a much smaller and stupider creature. I waited until senor roach made his way back to the side of the top bunk and then asked Claire for a blunt device. The only weapons available unfortunately were our books, and so with a touch of sadness I took the worlds 100 greatest short stories (Kafka included) and ended the life of the particularly audacious and oversized monster.

The next morning we made haste from our little house of horror to seek out a more calm abode. The room we left behind looked like some sick scene of a crime. There had obviously been some sort of a struggle. The sheets lay tangled on the bed. There was a black bloodstain on the bunk frame. By the door was an open plastic bag with two halves of a giant cockroach. The final touch was the ripped off cover of the world´s greatest 100 short stories covered in insect blood.

I´m happy to report that the following two days were much more tame. I went boogie boarding. We watched the finals of the Mundial. Last night we stayed at a very nice hotel in Manuel Antonio called Mango Moon. We spent most of the afternoon watching American TV in our airconditioned room. We ate dinner at a restaurant which boasted the wreck of a cold-war era cargo plane, which had been shot down during the Iran-contra affair. Today we woke up and waited around in Quepos until the bus to San Jose.

It is now 8:10 and high time for us to be getting to bed. Also the internet room has been invaded by about 20 loud French teenagers.

Buenas Noches y Hasta Luego
See you back in the US OF A

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