Is it really 10 days before Christmas?

Trip Start Nov 05, 2005
Trip End Jan 04, 2006

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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Thursday, December 15, 2005

It's still quite hard to believe that it's this close to Christmas because it's about 27C today and of course, there's more green here than in a super-pack of Crayola! The past few days have been quite rainy and I wore jeans and a jacket... yes, it's true. But today is back to nice, warm, sunny weather.

Yesterday I went to have some pizza at this little restaurant and of course, practice my Spanish. All was ok until I was paying for my meal and the server rambled off something so fast, that he was faced with my "deer in the headlights look" that has become oh so common. (It normally drives me crazy when someone speaks v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y, but it sure would be nice to find a Tico that does!!!). So he said "un momento" and comes back with a little glass of something that he said was "gratis" -- ok! I love "gratis", so I downed it and almost fell off my chair! Not sure what it was, but it sure was warm going down!

Then I went to see a movie (rather than go home and do my homework). But I got to practice some more Spanish - just to get into a theatre and buy popcorn can be challenging if it's not your spoken language! "Plan de Vuelo" or Flight Plan with Jodi Foster was pretty good. It killed an afternoon and I had popcorn for the first time in months!

I also started packing my suitcase tonite - just a little excited to be moving out....
It has been great living with Rosa "en su casa" but I'm starting to get a little anxious. I think because I've lived by myself for so long that now having others around has been an adjustment. The first 3 weeks were fine but I'm REALLY READY TO LEAVE. It doesn't help that she's a "busy body" -- oops, darn inner voice again.... I'm not used to someone asking me where I've been, what I bought, who I'm getting calls from etc etc. On the upside, I have enjoyed all the meals and clean laundry.

Some of you have asked about what it's like living with a family here. I'm sure that it's not exactly the same in all households but here's what I've observed "en mi casa". Remember, some are weird and some things are just different.

* In Rosa´s house, there's only hot.. well actually warm water in the shower. To wash clothes and dishes, there is only cold water. This is not very weird and I think is common in a lot of areas. In my Costa Rica book, hotels are advertised as "only cold water" or "rooms with hot water".

* She washes the dishes twice. Once after we eat and then again before we eat! I can't figure this out and don't want to ask. Maybe I don't want to hear the answer. She will take them from the cupboard and re-wash them before we eat. (weird)

* She has no clothes dryer but sometimes if she wants to dry something faster than the 3 days it takes here, she will put them behind the refrigerator where the heat will dry them faster. (different but whatever works!)

* She doesn't have a can opener and uses a sharp knife... safe, eh. I've seen this in one other household too.

* Rosa buys eggs from a guy who drives around Tres Rios with a bull horn, selling eggs out of the back of his truck. I would buy all my groceries this way - very convenient!!

* The phone service is crazy. In her house, she pays by the minute, like we do with a cell phone. And after 3 minutes, the price increases at a faster rate (now this is from what I can gather from Rosa, between her poor English and my poor Spanish). And if you call a cellular from her house, it costs more than a regular call. If someone calls her house, that's fine. And in this country, cellular numbers are pretty hard to come by and people stand in line for hours and hours just to get a cell number. I hear it also takes a very long time to get a landline in your home... sometimes up to 3 years!!! And it's NOT because they're on STRIKE!!

* Both Rosa and Pablo have a TV in their rooms, but I do not. This is ok though because I should be studying anyway. But no TV, no radio, no computer... just an iPod that needs recharging. How did I ever get so dependent on these things!!

* Rosa has 2 dogs like I mentioned before and they never, ever get taken for a walk. No wonder they want me for lunch when I go back there to get my clothes. They stay in this tiny back yard that is the about 10' x 10'. It's quite sad but she says that they are too strong for her to walk them.

So that has been life "en la casa de Rosa". A few differences from what I'm accustomed to but it has been a great experience and like I've said from the beginning of this trip -- "it's all part of the adventure".
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