6. MANUEL ANTONIO
Monday, April 2
Although classes were ‘till 3.15 pm this week, today we had class ‘till 12 am, because Laura and I both wanted to go to Vulcán Irazú. This trip would include a visit to the volcano, and afterwards a stop at Cartago (the former capital city of Costa Rica) to see the great church that is there. So, at 12.15, Linnea (from USA), Erika, Laura and me got into a van with the guy who was going to drive us around. Halfway up the hill (or ‘mountain’ for the Dutch, haha) to the volcano, the car made a weird noise and the car started to smoke from underneath the driver’s seat. The driver pulled over and we quickly got out – being female and all, we didn’t know what the hell could happen, the thing might blow up! So while the driver made a call, we sat down in the grass by the road and noticed what a gorgeous day it was. We soon found ourselves with our shirts rolled up, laying in the grass, with our bags as pillows… Linnea played some music from her phone and we sang
stuck on the road
along. It turned out to be a lovely, summery 1,5 hours.
A passer-by stopped to help the driver fix the car. After looking at it a bit and using my scissors for God-knows-what, he went to fetch something, came back, worked on the car with the driver, and then announced that we could get it again. So off we were, still singen (I bet the driver was very pleased with that) Disney songs a Spanish kids-song called “En un bosque de la China”.
As sunny as it was downhill, though, as cloudy was it up hill at the volcano. We couldn’t see *Scheisse* so we walked around in the nothingsness that seemed to be covered in ash and got back to the van about 40 minutes later. I was kind of disappointed, but I guess there’s nothing you can do! Driving downhill again, I got over my disappointment and got excited for the church in Cartago! But after a while driving, we started to wonder if we had passed Cartago yet. “Disculpe, donde vamos ahora?” “Vamos a la escuela!” “Oh…” – So I guess that was that. No Cartago. When we got back to COSI I demanded we’d
go to Cartago for free (‘cause I’m Dutch) some other time, but I don’t think that’s going to happen still, since all the other girls are long gone by now.
I cannot for the life of me remember what I did on Wednesday – I should make notes.
I do know that we went to a Chinese restaurant at night. Alonso, Andrea (both from the COSI front desk) and her 2-year-old daughter, Laura, Erika, Linnea, Kevin (ex-student of COSI) and I sat down at a big, round table in the big, nice looking restaurant called “Casa China”. Although the service and all was very nice, I still didn’t like the food. I guess Costa Rica is just not the country to eat Chinese food…
After class – which lasted ‘till 3.15 again – Linnea, Laura, Erika and I took a taxi to Multiplaza Escazú. This is a big mall (but classier than the one in San Pedro) with the somewhat fancier stores and only one food court (in relation to 3 floors of shops), which isn’t a lot. I bought red jeans, an AWESOME t-shirt, I ate
a veggie pita, and we went back home at 7 pm. We were not looking forward to taking the bus, though, so we took a taxi again – but not before agreeing on a maximum price (a very good one at that!). In the taxi, Erika soon started to sing Aladdin’s “Un Mundo Ideal” (in English “A Whole New World”, or, in Dutch “Een Nieuw Begin”) to the taxi driver. Yes, TO the taxi driver. Like a serenade. He turned red, we laughed, we all sang along the second time, it was silly, we laughed some more, and then we were home. The price was about 10.000 colones, but we paid the 8.000 like we’d agreed on! I like it when people stick to their promises.
Me and Erika met up with Jessica to eat at “Veggie House” (speaks for itself), but it was just closing, so we went to the Mexican restaurant across the street: “Antejuntos” (or something like that). Here, I had the best meal and service I have had yet in Costa Rica. It was a bit more expensive (but compared to cheap-as-hell, it was still cheap!), but worth it! Fish. Afterwards a PROPER cheesecake.
Well-behaved schoolgirls as we are, we did our homework together when we got back to my place – I went to bed at 00.15 (“OMG you rebel!” “Yeah, I know, I’m tough…”)
I’ve thought some more these last days about buying the extra flight tickets to go visit Jotte in Washington DC, and today I decided to do it! I’ve bought the tickets and I’m GOING! So instead of landing in good old Holland on May 7th
, I’ll arrive at Schiphol on May 16th
at 12.55 am (you know, for the ones pining for me to come back).
Tomorrow, me and Jessica are going to Manuel Antonio to visit Verena and see the sea! Unfortunately though, this meant that tonight was our last night with crazy, funny, Japanese Erika. To celebrate – well – her, Jessica, Andrea and 2 of her friends, Erika and I went out for a night on the town! Our original idea was to go sing Karaoke, but the place was packed and it was h.o.t. and the other Karaoke place wouldn’t have allowed my sneakers, so we went some place else… But that had a line,
I've found a tree!
so we went some place else… But Andrea’s friends didn’t like that place, so we went some place else… But that was a gay club where it happened to be ladies night (and we had a guy with us), so we went some place else… Oh, did I mention this was all by taxi because it’s too dangerous to walk the streets at night? The next place, fortunately, was the last place. “El Pueblo” is an area where there are several bars/clubs/cafes, but we chose the first one. We happened to have a GREAT time (and a great load of tequila at that)!
We got home at 3 am after quarrelling with the taxi driver because we didn’t trust him with the price – the ‘maria’ was going up way too fast! So after Erika called him “Mentiroso!” (liar), we decided to walk the last block (the neighborhood we live in is much safer) before the maria would climb even faster…
After 4 hours of sleep and a long, hot, hung over bus drive to Quepos, we finally saw Verena again and finally saw the beach! After checking in at the hostel (sadly
Nothingness + tree
only for one night), we went to the Manuel Antonio beach where we swam, dried up in the sun and stayed ‘till sundown. It is a very gorgeous event to experience…
Back at the hostel, I showered off all - that - sand (!), we ate veggie wraps, drank beers and went to bed exhausted. Good day
We got up at 6.40 am, to catch the Parque Manuel Antonio-tour from 7.30 am. The weather was – thank god – not as hot as Saturday, so it was nice to walk around the national park. The park, to me, is like a jungle (I think it is officially a rain forest), but with paths. Our party consisted of – well – us, ofcourse, the guide, and three girls/young women and the 3-year-old daughter of one of them. We went through the forest looking for weird animals, plants and fruits. The guide had a kind of telescope through which we could also take photos (I’ll upload mine of a toucan). It was fun and interesting! We saw sloths (NL: luiaards), lizards, iguanas (NL: leguanen), frogs, hummingbirds (NL: kolibries), toucans, pretty white birds of which
Erika + origami hopping frog
I don’t know the name, etc…!
But the best part… was the beach. I think I might have repeated myself about 9 times while we were at the beach, trying to express how beautiful it looks. But I think I failed and will fail – even when using pictures. The sand wasn’t white and the sea not clear, but… The trees lay over the sand as if trying to catch a few drops of the waves crashing down into the warm sea. But they got tired because of the burning sun and just laid down. The blue sea slowly but forcefully makes its way to the beach around the big, black rocks that are trying to block it. The sand is burning hot, but a little moist because of high tide, so it’s okay. The water is warm and when you stand ankle-deep, you can already feel the waves trying to pull you in – it is so inviting… Looking back to the beach you can see too many types of trees to remember, but they are all foreign and all mixed up. It’s beautiful… So we swam, and walked and laid in the sun. At one time, a
Erika, Jessica y yo
white face monkey showed up in the tree of which we were stealing its shadow. It had found something (people’s leftovers) to eat and soon the other monkeys got news of this as well. Before we know it, little white face monkeys started showing up from every tree or bush nearby. They fought each other first for the food, but then just for a tree or a branch (must’ve been male monkeys, so silly). Eventually they just sat around, picking their toes. We went back to napping again.
Nothing very interesting happened today… I joined the weekly COSI-lunch and met the new student of this week, called Louise (from London). She seems nice, I might hang out with her again – maybe next week…
This afternoon, Andrea made a call for me to the San José airport, to ask about my luggage being shipped to Houston instead of all the way to Amsterdam even when I’m not going there. I’ve tried this a few times before, but I kept getting no for an answer. Andrea, however (maybe it’s because she speaks Spanish, I don’t know) got this
woman to give her the telephone number of the United-desk at the airport – after speaking to this person, Andrea hung up and said “Done!”. “WHAT?” was my reaction, “It’s possible?” “Yup, you just have to ask the people at the desk when you check in to check in your luggage only to Houston and not all the way to Amsterdam, sign a form that says YOU are responsible for it, and that’s it!” – A weight dropped off my shoulders, flat on the ground. Honey, I’m coming – to DC!
Today was my last school day! I’d prepared a thank you-speech last night. In the first break, we made a circle with all the students and teachers as we do every first and last day of the week (respectively to introduce the new students and to say goodbye to ‘graduating’ students), the only difference was that this time, it was about me (and Yana, Howard and this other dude I don’t know, but also ME!)! Rolando (my teacher) had a little speech about me, pronouncing my name the right way (!!!), handed me my diploma, and I had a little gracias-a-todas-speech in return.
I have felt welcome and at home at COSI right from the start, and it is thanks to the teachers and also a lot because of Alonso and Andrea! I thanked my awesome teachers Marisela and Rolando, because who the hell teaches a person the basics of any language in only 3,5 weeks?!
Convinced of my Spanish abilities, I just ordered a pizza for tonight. Over the phone. By myself. In Spanish. – WHOOP!
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