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Published: March 16th 2012
It was that time again, the travelbug made me itch, I have to jet off somewhere- anywhere! These were in my thoughts several months ago, it didn't take long enough for my desire to leave real life behind for another adventure, another place to see and explore. Right after my euro trip I was already searching for places to go, for people to travel with. I guess travelling becomes a life style at some point. It may have become a part of me. The destination to the unkown road somehow makes me feel real, more human. I don't know what it is but it definitely opens up my mind to a world of bizarre possibilities, unexplanable learned experiences, places where life seem to be at ease while the rest of the world stress. I am hooked, I am intrigued. As I sat down after a couple of hours nap at a corner bench of Toronto Pearson airport reflecting instead of contemplating about the current situation we got ourselves in. I was surprisingly calm and collected and for the first time, my thoughts were not rushed or pressured by anything.
Earlier on, I was picked up by Phil (my travel buddy)
at home, I got my backpack, my day bag and my small purse. It's all i need really! We were thrilled to leave our lives behind for a mere 9 days of escape to an unkown country that none of us had ever been to. We were finally doing this ourselves! After a month of research and reading, the day had come to leave with our bags and a book to guide us through. Part of this trip was my pride of purchasing a cheap ticket to Costa Rica, I looked all over the place (internet that is) and just when I was about to purchase a ticket, I found one that was considerably cheaper but has so much layover. Whatever! It's not called budget for nothing!
We were asked to change gates in the airport 5 times, given the fact that our departure time was for 2030, it was fashionably late. Actually Phil and I thought it was hilarious (as we histerically took pictures of gate numbers) but the other passengers think otherwise. We couldn't care less, we just wanted to leave!
The plan was to walk around Manhattan since we have a 7hours lay-over, maybe visit
a bar and take some shots, have a few drinks, but the delay was beyond terrible so I said, 'I guess we wont have a date with Manhattan'.
As the time pass, a man with a tie came out, he looked a little frustrated but maybe tired, he went straight to the mic and announced that the flight was canceled and he apologizes for the lack of information. Just like that! It was roughly about 2330ish this time. One woman possibly on her late 20's or maybe early 30's stood up and yelled, 'are you kidding me!? Are you fucking serious!? This is bullshit!' People were staring of course, I guess that was enough to instigate 'anger' on every passenger scheduled for that flight. Right after that, her boyfriend muttered a few angry words, took the handset of the public telephone, bashed it a couple of times and threw it.
Phil said, 'that would really make the plane leave'.
'I guess if you look at the brighter side, we dont have to fly with bad weather, crash and die' I replied.
'So what do we do now?'
'Maybe we should contact our agency, figure out
how to get our asses in the air and we'll go from there', I said.
Crowds of irate passengers yelling and screaming at the man. I guess its their way to vent out frustration; attack the messenger eventhough it was not his decision to cancel it to begin with. It's funny how I can see and understand why the man looked a little weary before the fact.
A million phone calls and a million hang ups, thousands of explaining and on hold while in the line with the agency. End of the day, they couldn't help us. We decided to sleep in the airport, hobo styles as what we called it. It was quite uncomfortable, and uneasy but it was not impossible. Somehow we squeezed ourselves onto some awkward airport benches and managed to snooze for a couple of hours. We ended up purchasing a one way ticket to Costa Rica from Toronto, that being said we were exhausted, feeling dirty, and we just wanted to get to Costa Rica.
We got 2 complimentary $10 breakfast per person by Air Canada, as I said, 'wow! They're just too generous!' with all sarcasm in the air. Whatever, food
is food and we were famished. We used it and that gave us a bit of energy, but not enough to stop us from dozing off while waiting for our flight. This time I was feeling a little skeptical, we had managed to tour, eat, use the public utility, and sleep in the airport all in a span of 17 hours. As our flight was yet again delayed for an hour, people were talking, some were livid, but we, we were struggling to keep our eyes open with no care whatsoever with the hour delay. What's the worst thing that can happen when the worst thing already did? The plane left with us in it this time. I was so drowsy that I had no idea how we took off and when we touched down. All I knew was the plane was on the ground, a little disoriented I was I admit, everything that happened seemed like a movie, or maybe a dream, like an unexpected disaster, yet it was just the first day of our trip! And this time we finally arrived Costa Rica!
There was an abundance of taxis just outside the airport in San Jose, I
find it a little organize, not chaotic at all. We hoped in, refreshed and full of energy we headed down to our hostel in Alajeula. We stayed at Alajuela Backpackers, it's a really nice hostel, there's a somewhat hotel feel to it, but very laid back and clean.
Back in the cab we both agreed to check-in at our hostel, leave our backpack in the room, freshen up quickly and head out in search of a bar, any bar!
'We need a shot!' Phil eagerly suggested.
'I say we do the shot to seal the deal!' , I said.
'That we made it to Costa Rica!' Phil said as I turned around and snapped some more photos of the surrounding neighborhood.
We left the hostel and headed straight to a local bar just right at the corner of the intersection of our hostel. It was a sketchy looking place. As I looked around, it was a small, perhaps a very small local bar. People were crammed in small corners surrounding the bar itself. There was a man singing away with his guitar, just another local who decided to stop by for a drink. Group of
men on their mid 40's and 50's and even older came to hang out for a drink. They were all staring at us, and when we look back at them, they were not shy, they kept looking. They had a stoic look on their faces, which I find even scarier since it's harder to read their intentions. It turned out, no tourists ever pass that bar, no one inside that bar even speak english, and no one in that bar had any malicious intentions either. They were all there for the same intention, to relax and drink. After 10 beers and 2 shots of Cuervo (we sealed the deal), we paid $13... which I find amazing! We headed out, the owner which I would like to believe he was, was very thankful for us coming and hanging out at the bar. I guess that just shows how much tourists really visit and spend their afternoon at that place.
Feeling adventurous, with no map or had any idea where to go, we decided to explore. It was already late and dark, we went through empty alleyways, walked cautiously but as if with no care. I guess the fear of venturing
off the tourist path leaves your system after awhile, especially after spending your whole afternoon at a sketchy looking local bar. I just felt normal, like as if I belong. We found a plaza, a square, a zocolo, whatever it's called, a park, sitting right across is a catholic church. We went inside, creepily took some photos while the mass was going. Maybe a not so good idea to do, but we made sure we had no flash. Discreetly we took pictures.
We found another bar, what Phil described as 'happening' (its where the crowds are and the party's at!). We decided to pay this place a little visit. Again, no tourist, just another local bar, bigger this time. The bouncer was asking for my identification, which i did not bring with me. I batted my eyelashes and speak sweetly in english eventhough he had told me 'no hablar ingles'. We got in, had a couble of beers and decided to head back to our hostel bar this time. We easily found our way back, we saw a drunk man sleeping on the street, we know so becuase you cannot miss the bottle of beer in his hand, and
it was empty, not to mention a pool of undigested food right beside him.
Back at the hostel, the bar is located on the 4th floor, very nice veiw. It's small but intimate anf I am able to smoke my cigarettes! After trying different cocktails that we had never heard of before, I started a conversation with the two older gentleman that was standing around close to the bar where we were sitting.
Both of them must be on their mid or late 40's. Unfortunately i had forgotten their names so I will call one of them bearded and the other one would be creepy looking guy with a hat. They were both friends from Colorado who decided to take a 2 weeks vacation. It was their last day before they both head back on their seperate flights back to Colorado. Beareded man bought a property and built a house somewhere in Dominical, and creepy looking guy with a hat just tagged along since it was his first time in CR.
We headed back to the bar, had a couple more drinks as the bar closed down, we had no choice but to head back to our
room, say our goodbyes and for the first time after it felt like eternity, we slept on a bed 😊
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