Last Weeks in Costa Rica

Trip Start Jan 17, 2007
Trip End Feb 23, 2009

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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Sunday, February 22, 2009

After 2 years of living in a foreign country, the little things really began to get to me. I knew it was time to go, when everything just annoyed me and I started every sentence with Only in Costa Rica... does every DVD scratch, everyone gets paid on the same day (can we say long lines at the bank), does it take 4 hours to go 44 kilometers, good cheese does not exist and people honk for absolutely no reason whatsoever. At first the game was funny and I would laugh over Michelada Imperials with other ex-pats and joke about the fact only in Costa Rica do you have a job if you own a yellow vest and other ass backwardness to the country's rhyme and reason. But then it just started to add up and it was not funny anymore. I developed AFS also as known as Angry Foreigner Syndrome. I said it several times that if one more crazy/never suppose to happen/weird thing happened to me I was out and then it did. Jan 20 I had to make the decision to come home....

I had 2 weeks to get my act together, pack, and move on. After 2 years in Costa Rica and 2 professions later I had certainly accumulated a lot of stuff. Rather than throwing it all away I tried setting up a yard sale. Yard sales in Costa Rica are not so common but I had a few dedicated clients who came back even days after I had closed up shop to settle debts and to see if I had anything else. The biggest hit were my cookies which I sold for 100 colones (about 20 cents) each. All in all it was a success and gave me some much needed spending money for my upcoming travels. I planned on taking a month to travel by myself all the way up to Arizona via bus and any other means necessary to enjoy an adventure. All my hard work planning trips and learning Spanish was about to pay off.

In my second year in Costa Rica I worked for a travel agency in San Jose that specializes in Central America. I immediately fell in love with the job and learned quickly. The first few months I struggled but when things quieted down I found my nitch and really started to like my job as a senior travel consultant. I worked in front of a computer 5 days a week but also got to see a lot of Costa Rica on trips around the country business and pleasure, I made good money which let me enjoy other things like a great apartment that I did not while teaching at the school. 

My place was in San Pedro, San Jose right off the main road in a cute neighborhood by an elementary school. I lived 2 blocks from 4 sushi restaurants, 10 mins walking to the mall (every fast food you can imagine), and 20 minutes by bus to downtown where I worked. My apartment was a one bedroom old art studio, there were beautiful murals painted on the wall by the artist Miliva. This place felt like home with a cozy garden and wood floors I loved it.

While in San Jose I also acquired a cat. Louie is a great big orange tabby that likes to attack unsuspecting feet. I really fell in love with him when a friend had to move back unexpectedly to AK and she offered him to me. We went through a lot including a nasty kick to his jaw by a mean stranger that put him in the kitty hospital for 2 weeks with a broken jaw. He recovered just fine and luckily did not venture outside the gate too much after that. The last 2 weeks were hard and he knew something was up but I found him a very nice home with my neighbors mom in the mountains.

I knew I was not going to be able to go easily but this was a little much...the day before I am scheduled to leave ( I am sending 2 suitcases home via UPS) I haul my suitcases in a cab all the way across town with my packing list, ID, account number ALL the information necessary to send my things back to AZ. Oh no I forgot where I was, the land where nothing runs smoothly, I was required to pay in advance... hmmmm I do not think so, let's rethink this. Let me speak to your supervisor, OK your supervisor, let me call UPS USA OK let me get out the big guns. 4 DAYS LATER I sent my suitcases back to the USA, where they are scheduled to maybe arrive in 3 days.

But all the stalling did let me spend some great time in Puntarenas, saying goodbye to good friends and making memories. The annual carnival was the very same week so there was a great concert by the Pericos and the carnival parades are always just wild. I really enjoyed my last few weeks in Costa Rica, eating patacones and ceviche almost everyday. Gearing up for my big solo gig up north.

I got on a bus at 9:00pm from Puntarenas to San Jose, yes I was crying but I was ready,  to begin another amazing trip....

To be Continued on another blog "Traveling Sola: Costa Rica to Arizona"
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