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Published: November 5th 2005
Our guest Calli riding Gringo bareback
I bet my friends in DC haven't ridden bareback before--well, maybe!
This blog entry does not have a theme—not that any of my other blog entries have had themes—rather, it is a collection of ideas or items that I have noticed this past week.
PLEASE NOTE: I have a new email address: ANDREW4CR@GMAIL.COM
More on the people…
I again this week have focused my thoughts on the people who live around me, mostly by observing and wondering what they are thinking, and of course, what they think of me. I have come up with a few conclusions this week. I don’t know how accurate my conclusions are, and certainly others’ opinions will differ, though one’s impressions cannot easily be judged I suppose.
In the greater San Ramon area where I live, there seems to be something more innocent about the people here, particularly the younger people—guys and gals in their 20s or 30s. I am sure it is a partially a product of growing up in a fairly rural area with little if any real exposure to other countries or even the bigger cities in Costa Rica, and of course, it is also due to just being younger and not yet experiencing what many people see and do
later in life. As I observe their interactions, it just seems more innocent, more polite, and as if they have not been exposed to as many of life’s ills (or bad habits!) as kids have in the United States. The other thing I notice is that they smile a lot! “Pura Vida” does really seem to be alive and well here.
The younger people also come up and shake your hand when they see you and seem genuinely interested in knowing how you are. I never really felt that in the United States, particularly when I was in my 20s. It always seemed as though the other kids had specific agendas, whether it was “acting cool” or meeting the opposite sex. Here it seems, if you are a Tico’s age, older or younger, they always come up to you whether in a bar, in the supermarket, at the town square, or most anywhere else.
The people also seem to take more pleasure in very simple things such as enjoying a cold cerveza, picking a guayba from a tree, or just sitting around and having a simple conversation with others, even with people “Espanol-challenged” like me!
suppose I could proffer that in their private lives, or in situations I am not apart of, they are much different, but the fact remains, in their interactions with me, and as I have observed with their friends and families, there is something more innocent and frankly more pleasant about them, than I have seen in other places. We’ll see if this theory pans out over time but for now I’m sticking with it.
A big night here for many of the local people seems to be Karaoke night, every Thursday, at “Mi Rancho,” the restaurant and bar across the street from my place. Staying with my “more innocent” theme for a moment, it is just good clean fun. Young friends, men and women together, genuinely seem to enjoy their interactions and I rarely see the pouting, arguments or other issues that often arise among friends in other places. Many of the Ticos are also excellent singers and the singing continues until the last people leave the bar (me and Franz and Cynthia as of late!).
It is also a very Costa Rican experience with virtually all of the songs being from Latin America. This
differs from other places I’ve seen Karaoke such as in Japan, the Philippines or in Thailand, where the singers sing to American tunes. Someone recently equated Karaoke night here with a Texas “ho-down.”
A trip to the cloud forest park
While we live on the edge of the cloud forest (though sometimes I swear we live right in it!), there is huge cloud forest park and nature reserve just 15 minutes up the road from us and I discovered this week that it is a great place to take our guests. The Los Angeles Cloud Forest Reserve (http://moon.com/planner/costa_rica/mustsee/los_angeles.html ) offers zip-lining--seven platforms and six zip lines some through the rainforest canopy and some through large fields—horseback riding, hiking trails, natural swimming pools and waterfalls. If you are lucky, you can also see howler monkeys, quetzals, jaguars and numerous species of birds.
Even driving to the park is interesting as you get off the main road heading to Arenal Volcano and follow a very quiet paved road cutting across farms, hills and valleys. I highly recommend a visit, particularly when staying with us!
That’s it for this week. Next week I have friends coming into town and
I am very excited about that and then many guests for the next several weeks.
More updates soon!
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