Costa Rica – Day 7

Posted by Aaron Watters - June 7, 2009 - Costa Rica - No Comments

Day 7! After today The Dream Team will have been in Costa Rica for a full week. Four more weeks left…better make them count. We don’t want to waste one single day, hour or minute while we are here. I mean c’mon, we’re The Dream Team, right? Too bad today was all about wasting time, well maybe not, we did learn some valuable lessons. After class Bama told us that he wanted to go to this town called, “Santa Cruz” so that he could buy some shoes at a reasonable price. Everything around us charges way too much because they can get away with it, and we didn’t want anything to do with that stuff. So, just as friends do, The Dream Team decided to go with their amigo Bama and assist in “The Quest for Reasonably Priced Shoes…and a McDonalds.” From what The Dream Team was told Santa Cruz was a big town about an hour away from the beach and it contained many shops and most importantly, a McDonalds. The companions met after class to work out the details of their journey and it was at this meeting that the group of explorers was set in stone. The Dream Team was joined by Dina and Tup thus making the group a perfect size of 5 members. Dina is a really cool chica who has lived in Argentina for around 14 months and Costa Rica for 3 months (at this time I am unsure of the exact numbers). She is very resourceful (pretty dang good with the espanol) and her family owns some McDonalds in California, Dina’s part in “The Quest for Reasonably Priced Shoes…and a McDonalds” is to find a McDonalds and eat a Big Mac. Tup has previously been introduced (see Blog 6) and his purpose for the journey is to get his camera fixed as well as buy a power adapter.

The group set off on “The Quest for Reasonably Priced Shoes…and a McDonalds” in the early afternoon by catching the 1pm bus from Flamingo to Santa Cruz. The group was filled with high hopes and an aura of positive encouragement (high fives, back slaps, hugs and tears of joy) and was ready for a successful day. The bus left Flamingo Beach and began its ascent in to the hill country towards Santa Cruz right on time (15 minutes late, Tico time). It was shortly noted that the bus stopped in increments of 200 meters and the non-air-conditioned bus began to heat up. No one told the group of explorers that this public bus would soon become approximately 130 degrees Fahrenheit (slight over-exaggeration). Twenty minutes later the explorers began to grow impatient and tired of the frequent stops (the bus also went through numerous towns on dirt roads making way more stops than necessary). Let me explain the public bus system in Costa Rica to you for a second. There are bus stops that people use to sit down and wait for their bus to come, but there are also BUS STOPS in which any person randomly walking on the street may flag down a bus and get a ride. It seems that more people prefer to walk on the side of the road rather than wait at a bus stop; in conclusion, we made a ton of stinking stops at every stinking corner and or turn. It was hot. The whole group was sweating, a lot; I mean I lost around 10 pounds in sweat alone, no joke (slight exaggeration). Around an hour in to the trip the bus finally pulled in to the Santa Cruz bus stop and the group began staking out the city.

As I was walking off the bus I began speaking with a Tica and soon found that she was actually a teacher at CPI (the school we are attending to learn Spanish). I got excited and asked her questions concerning the location of McDonalds as well as other questions concerning other objectives, such as shoes and stuff. The professor then told me that there was an area that had all of the restaurants and McDonalds was there along with other popular stores. We said our farewell to the professor and continued to walk down the road she had told us to follow. As we continued to walk shops began to appear and our objectives for the day soon became the hot topic of conversation. First stop, McDonalds. We looked for about 2 minutes in the area our professor pointed out, but quickly realized that there was no McDonald’s in this area. I asked a Tico for the location of the McDonalds and he pointed down a road and told me to go 200 meters. After 200 meters we came to another part of the city that had no “Golden Arch Potential” whatsoever. After getting directions from 3-4 different Ticos / Ticas we realized that McDonalds still hasn’t set foot in the much deprived city of Santa Cruz. After many shoulder shrugs and angry glares in every which way we changed our way of thinking and headed for a Chinese food restaurant. I know, I know, first we want McDonalds then we go for Chinese??? In Costa Rica??? What can I say; we needed a little bit of change and familiarity. So after heading to the Chinese food restaurant the clouds parted and one sign stood far above all others and twinkled like the North Star…Pizza Hut. So, we did it, we totally went there. We went to Pizza Hut in Costa Rica, and you know what? We liked it a lot. Bottom Line…Objective 1: Eat at McDonalds = FAILURE.

Objective 2 consisted of getting Tup’s camera lens fixed at a repair shop. Even though Tup walked all over the place, we couldn’t find a camera shop with a reasonable enough price to get it fixed. Objective 2: Get Camera Fixed = FAILURE.

Objective 3 included Tup buying a power convertor for his two pronged plug (Canadian or Thai) in to a normal outlet. Within around 10 minutes after lunch Tup had found his convertor at a reasonable price. Objective 3 = GREAT SUCCESS!

Objective 4 included me buying a beach towel because I didn’t have one and was hoping to find one for a cheap price. After looking at a couple of super markets I quickly realized that I wasn’t going to find anything like a beach towel in a city far away from the beach. There were some larger towels in the super market, but by larger I mean I may have been able to dry off my right leg. Objective 4 = FAILURE.

Objective 5 included Bama buying a pair of shoes to ease the blisters he acquired on his feet from walking everywhere. Bama walked from store to store asking “Cuenta Cuesta?” to everyone in sight. Bama learned that “cheap shoes” were all over 40 dollars American and the nice shoes were typically over 80 dollars. After running back and forth between stores Bama finally realized that even if he did like any of the shoes the store wouldn’t have anything in his size. Objective 5 = TOTAL FAILURE.
Overall the day which had begun with so much potential ended in a sweaty failure. So much for not wasting any time, eh? I will say this, we did get to practice a lot of Spanish and I got quite good at asking people where stuff was. The day was summed up with a sudden rare blurt from the mouth LJ when he said, “Bama, today was a complete waste of time…and I hate you for it.” Word.

PS. Love ya Bama.

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