We have a house cleaner who makes our beds and cleans our bathrooms every day, and it's pretty awesome. Not like I'm messy to begin with, but it's almost like a hotel here. Again, so much better than Ann Arbor.
All they do here is feed us. Empanadas, rice and beans, and fruit. I think I already said that the fruit here is amazing. And on the tour of downtown San Jose today, I probably counted 20 KFCs. If I were a Costa Rican, I would have picked a better American fast food franchise to take over my country, but that’s just me.
The tour this afternoon was really lame. We had to stay on the bus the whole time because the city was too dangerous for us to walk around, apparently, yet we’re encouraged to go down there and explore in our free time. The city was pretty cool, but again, it would have been nice to not see it just on the bus. The roads of San Jose are super narrow, so it felt like we were going to run into the cars next to us. There were these ridiculous colored bull statues in the middle of the city, and tons of palm trees, and a lot of cramped little shops...and that was pretty much it. San Jose wasn’t really the city full of street vendors and bustling crowds that I was expecting. A lot of car dealerships and industrial businesses, mainly.
We went to Escazu after that, the city that's supposed to be the nightlife capital of Costa Rica, or at least our central part of it. We didn't see much.
They dropped us off at the mall, which was full of mostly Central American stores (with mediocre clothing) but a few American stores, like Payless and Reebok. None of us wanted to be at the mall - we wanted to be walking around outside, but it's the first day here and I guess they’re still working things out. I bought a donut kabob (not the real name) with caramel on it, since I was starving since all I really had for lunch was fruit (I'm trying to live on pineapple...I guess it’s not working) and I actually could understand how much it was and counted out the change, so I didn’t feel as stupid as I had earlier in the day.
I can understand all the signs here, and I can read all the brochures, but I’m lost once people start talking. It’s just way too fast for me. Forget about years of Spanish and being told that I can call myself "fluent"...yeah, right. I feel like a total idiot trying to listen to a native Costa Rican and answering, but I’ve been able to get by.
So the mall was semi-boring until we hit the supermercado. It was one of the anchor stores. And...there was a huge alcohol aisle. Deciding what to buy was like, one of the hardest decisions I've had to make this month. There was so much, and I'm legal here, and it was just so awesome. So we bought a bunch of Costa Rican alcohol (I wasn't even carded), and we're about to go to 137 to celebrate our first full night here.