We have a little bit of time right now before our farewell dinner, so I figured I should probably blog. I feel really behind lately because I haven’t been able to blog during class, since I’m supposed to be paying attention or something since we have an exam tomorrow morning.
The exam is part multiple choice, part essay. It’s all open note and open binder. I took a ton of notes, so I’ll probably be fine. The thing is that the exam, like everything else here, was changed at the last minute. We were supposed to have an exam that integrated our question sets, but the course coordinator changed that today, apparently, to include multiple choice. I hate multiple choice. It’s the reason why I suck at bschool classes, because I can definitely do well on essay tests but if you ask me to choose one of four possible answers, I overthink it and then I’m crashing and burning.
Yesterday. We only had one class in the morning with the intense professor, so I had to listen. It was about global trade for local benefit, and it wasn’t hard to follow, but it just proved that I really don’t care about economics and I feel really out of place in the bschool, like usual. Some of the stuff we’ve learned these past few weeks has been interesting – most of it, in fact – but the fact is, it’s still a bschool class and I really don’t care much about the nitty-gritty, mathematical-type concepts they talk about. I like the culture aspect a lot, and even the foreign direct investment stuff is a little interesting, and I really like learning about ecotourism. I know Michigan has a sustainable development division in the bschool, and I think it’d be cool to take a class there about it, maybe. I guess that’s what I’ve gotten out of this the most, I’ve realized there might be something in the bschool that I like and that isn’t totally based around number crunching.
We were finished with class at 11:45 a.m. because we had a CEO lunch. We ate with the CEO of Café Britt, where we went for our first company tour two weeks ago, and a CEO from an agriculture-type company in Costa Rica. The Café Britt CEO was definitely an ex-hippie. He was a Michigan alum (go figure) and escaped Ann Arbor during the Vietnam War to go study coffee in Costa Rica. He had pretty interesting stories, especially about how he got to where he was. The other CEO had to break away from his family business, so he had a lot of stories about how to balance family with work. The lunch was better than usual and the talks were interesting, but it’s just so hard to focus in Costa Rica – all I want to do is go play in the sun.
The lunch was done at 1:30, so we had the rest of the day and night to do what we wanted. I still needed to get some presents for people since I didn’t have time last weekend, so Elise, Janelle and I decided to go to Moravia, a district in San Jose. We were told it had a couple blocks of shops, but it was the closest shopping area to INCAE. Too bad it was over an hour away. We took a cab there with the most insane driver we’ve had yet. He was this older guy with a huge mustache and he was super impatient. A semi had lost its cargo on the highway, which meant it was backed up for miles, and he was trying to go on the shoulder and around cars, constantly switching lanes and honking his horn.
We almost got hit by a semi truck and he almost hit a pedestrian – like, missed the guy by a few inches. He took us to downtown San Jose and then pulled over and started talking to us in rapid-fire Spanish. It took a few minutes to understand, since we were confused as to why he was pulling over in addition to listening to him talk in Spanish, but he said he couldn’t drive us anymore because it was past the end of his shift. We weren’t at our destination yet, and he just pulled over and said we had to get out. It was ridiculous. So we got another cab and finally made it to Moravia, over an hour after we left. It’s only maybe 15 miles away.
The shops were pretty standard, and all of us knew pretty much what we wanted, so we went in and bought our gifts and wandered around the streets for awhile. Like always, we were stared at like crazy. Three girls in sundresses wandering around the city probably wasn’t the smartest scenario.
All of us were broke, and all I have left here is traveler’s checks, so we found a bank but the ATM was broken. I couldn’t cash my traveler’s checks. Anywhere. Nobody in Costa Rica takes traveler’s checks. I was so upset – I officially had no money and we had traveled over an hour to get presents and I shouldn’t have brought traveler’s checks to begin with, they’re way too much of a hassle. I was semi-yelling at the guy at the bank because he wouldn’t let me cash them, I didn’t have enough ID on me. I speak pretty good fast Spanish when I’m upset, I’ve learned. So Janelle bought all of my presents for me and I owe her a bunch of money. (I finally cashed them all today at INCAE, but I had to pay a commission. That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. The bank here sucks.)
It was getting late and we had most of our presents, so after wandering around and buying things for awhile, we wanted a taxi back home. We were in the middle of the city and all by ourselves, so it was definitely intimidating. We hailed a taxi and…the most badass car ever rolled up to the side of the road. It had a spoiler, a sick sound system (the same brand as the one in my Mountaineer but a little better of a model), multi-colored leather seats, custom headrests and racing stripes. And it was our taxi. It’s safe to say that it was a much better ride home than it was there.
Elise took a picture during the cab ride home, probably just to prove we were still alive after the afternoon. We all look a little flustered, but it was a good day.