5 days of Spanish language classes brings me into the Tico world.
29.12.2008 - 03.01.2009 25 °C
It was a toss up as to the one most exhausted, myself or my patient and gracious language instructor Celenia. We came to the last day of class both with a sense of accomplishment, me with actually understanding some structure and grammar and her for what must have seemed an improbable dream of making me linguistically understandable.
The next several weeks will prove the value of our investments of time and money. I did not do well with english grammar in grade 7 and was not much better at it this week in Spanish.
I billeted with a typical Tico family of Sandra, Juan, Johanna, Diego and Marisol who were very gracious and welcoming with the usual Costa Rican spirit of Pura Vida, which translates many ways but essentially says love of life.
My body welcomed the diet change from Home of buns, meat and pasta to the more delicate and numerous plates (sometimes 5 times a day) of rice, beans, some chicken or beef with huge quantities of papaya, pineapple, bananas and citrus. I can now wear the pants I had only hoped to get into when I arrived.
The town of Alajuela is very near and has much character as well as many characters. The Costariennses are very respectful and welcoming and my presence as an old long haired hippie sitting in the town square never evoked a remark or a sideways glance. On occasion a stranger would look and smile or even exchange a handshake. The local Maintenance crew for the city insisted I take their picture. No email addresses were exchanged.
I have taken a modest apartment near the National University in Heredia where it is more quiet than in the downtown core and much more economical than in the higher priced B&Bs which skirt the city. This 4 person (possible) accomodation with cooking, laundry, HBO and restaurant service is good deal at $37 a day up to $57 a day when Carolyn arrives January 5.
I am off to see the countryside in a colourful local bus which will travel in an loop for about 40 cents.