Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Livin' like a local

SUITCASE DIARIES: week 2 Costa Rica

Day 8 - Tues March 25 - I'm so proud of myself. Yesterday, inspired by Florencia's example, I arranged, with my broken Spanish, our ride to Tamarindo with Michael via a connection he has down at the beach. Much cheaper than the shuttle van service from the Villa and, by taking a short, direct route, he got us there in just over 1 hour. In Tamarindo Michael arranged a trip to the airport for Sunday with a "legit" taxi driver. He cautioned us that a "taxi" sign on a car's roof doesn't mean the driver is legit, insured or even a licensed driver. Michael took us right to the inner courtyard of Domus Kahuna. Great service!

We enjoyed a siesta in our one bedroom apartment which we've been given for the duration of our stay.  There's a bedroom with AC, a balcony with a hammock that I've claimed as "mine", and a stove top ( which I never use during our stay :-). We've been upgraded from our bachelor suite due to scheduling complications. Originally we were going to be moved on Friday to a bachelor but I think Paulo took pity on the poor suffering gringo geezers. Either that or he wanted to keep us from infecting others - though we weren't infectious, we sure sounded like it; coughing and hacking.

I lay in the hammock, severely hearing compromised, hacking my lungs out. Separated from the cocoon that Flo and Jack provided us, a deep sense of vulnerability washes through me. I've never experienced illness in another country where I don't speak the language well, hear even worse and don't know what to do. Despite the application of my many healing techniques, things are not getting anywhere near better. I have to do something… I will have to see a medico soon. 

During our dinner at an outdoor patio a fine spray wafts into the dining area. Water for the plants? Nope, don't think so but I could be wrong. I gobble down my dish - yam stuffed with fish and a cerveza and then we walk on the beach and witness the sun setting so fast that steam should be coming off the water as it sinks into the sea.

Day 9 - Wed March 26 - We went to the very thorough, medico today. Diagnosis: throat and inner ear infection. I leave loaded down with drugs that I'd normally never take. But, here I say, "Never say never. Bring on the antibiotics, antihistamine, AND throw in that expectorant too. Let's blast this baby outta here". Best news since I got here is, since my equilibrium is good, my ears and lungs are clear I can go swimming, yea!

Our daily ritual has become: afternoon siesta and the ingestion of a pineapple, mango, banana, yogurt and fruit juice smoothy to soothe my raw throat ("Our" awesome blender is a godsend!) followed with a  beach walk around 3p.m., sunset worship and dinner out. Tonight we share a tasty grilled Mahi Mahi, veg and rice dinner. On our return "home" the delicious aqua blue waters of the little pool beckon me. Swimming underwater provides the only relief for my throbbing ears. I float under a starry sky peeking through the banana trees, thankful for this bliss!

Day 10 - Thurs March 27 - A light breeze provided us with a welcome cool night after some brutally hot days so I decided to sleep outside last night in the hammock under the stars. Crazy, throbbing drum rhythms and the shouts of ramped up revellers fill the night air from 10p.m. til 3a.m. finally driving me inside.

I arise early this morning and walk the beach, deserted (no wonder, I think all of Tamarindo was at that party) except for one lone yoga practitioner. When I feel better I'll follow her example. (This doesn't happen til my last morning here.)

Spinning their boards around in the waves, riding in while holding headstand, ducking through the pipe - the kids make surfing look like a piece of cake. I'm taking notes from a rare shady spot under a tree, psyching myself up for my own foray into the mix. Paolo has a connection with a surf shop and can rent me a board for $10 for the day. I won't have to go down with my ID and can pay by cash by giving his name, yea! He says the tides and times are promising for tomorrow. I've gotta give it a goand if I really like it I'll go again on Saturday.

Tonight we eat at a food court at the base of our street. Fish burger with fries and a coke for Rod and guac with salsa and a cerveza for me - cheap and delicious. Rod's ear became plugged on our way from the beach; we are now "speaking" to each other in a form of sign language. I get a mocha to go from Diego's stall and vow to return tomorrow for french toast to change up the daily routine, though appreciated, menu of gallo con pinto, huevos revueltos y pan tostado offered at Domus.

Anyway…the adventure continues and we're starting to get into our groove here. Livin' like the locals takes a lot of effort when you're not feeling well. It's a learning curve…


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