Blogs from San Pedro, San José, Costa Rica, Central America Caribbean - page 3


Margie and I left Nitzi's house at about 11am today to take a bus to meet a new expat couple she had met on the Internet at a local cafe. When Julie & Rick arrived we all picked out the food we wanted for lunch, cafeteria style and sat down together. A very down-to-earth couple that has lived in CR for over two years....California transplants. They lived in several different areas around San Jose and seem pretty happy with their location in San Pedro. We each ordered a fairly typical CR combination plate called a bocado with a meat, rice, beans, roll, salad. It's a lot of food so next time Margie & I might share. Although if you can bring leftovers right home then it means no need to cook dinner! So the four of ... read more
Visiting Sonia Alfaro artist in her house
Sonia & I before heading back to San Pedro
Sonia & I before heading back to San Pedro

The washer & dryer here are fairly new but the washer stops for long periods of time between cycles so doing just one load can take well over an hour. And since it was just had a repair for another problem all of us living here have a backup of laundry to do. So today is laundry day for me. I'm continue to spend time trying to find a place to rent in Atenas. I'm considering just renting a room in a 2 bedroom 2 bath house, where I would have my own room & bath. The owner is a woman whom seems very nice. She's sent me photos and it's a very nice newer home. I want to see the place and it's proximity to town and the bus stop so I'm hoping to take ... read more
Nitzi's house
Nitzi's house
Nitzi's house

Margie & I were home all morning. I was following up on some leads to a place to rent in Atenas but nothing quite right yet. I certainly don't have to move since I could stay here but Atenas is smaller and has warmer temps. Here in San Pedro we're a bit to the east of San Jose which means we're up a little higher and temps are usually cooler. It probably sounds like I'm nit picking but upper 70's to mid 80's vs low 70's can make a difference. Plus this is a big far as I'm concerned. So I've talked to a few people with rentals or who know someone with a room or apartment to rent in Atenas but none are quite right yet. By 3pm both Margie & I were really ... read more
Latina University San Pedro Costa Rica
Flags in front of Latina University
 San Jose Area Train that Stops at LU

I was able to make the 'Big" move into my own room here at Nitzi's house today. Margie is staying in our old room by herself, at least for the time being. My room is at the other end of the house. We have a different kitchen...smaller. I prefer using the larger one, which I plan to do. I've met a few more people here including a young man fro Florida, Will, who is here for a bit of R & R after graduating from college with a masters in business. Another young man, Greg, from Maryland who seems to be a semi-regular person here at Nitzi's. He's traveled many places and was evidently quite wild as a teen and young adult. But now he says he much more settled down. Greg has told us quite ... read more
SJ Post Office Building
Plaza in San Jose
More of Plaza in San Jose

About 10am today Margie & I caught a bus and went to downtown San Jose. It was about a 30 minute ride. One of the places we wanted to go was the tourist office to get a bus schedule and also go to the large produce market we had heard about from another guest here at La Casa de Nitzi last night. As we worked our way through crowds of people, buses and cars we eventually found a tourist but they unfortunately gave out their last bus schedules the day before. But he did take the time to find out the info we needed online. We want to check out two small communities (Atenas & Grecia) so the bus schedules are needed for those trips. I'm hoping to rent a place in Atenas where it's a ... read more
Downtown San Jose Post Office Building

I turned up in Costa Rica, three months ago, knowing almost no Spanish. I did it at school but I haven't done anything at all in any language other than English for eleven years, so my thoughts that I would turn up and start talking like a tico were always going to be on the optimistic side. (A tico/tica is a nickname for a Costa Rican man or woman. Initially I thought it was like calling an Irish person "Paddy" but it turns out it's what they like to be called.) However, after three months of lessons with a very good teacher, working with Spanish speaking adults and kids and generally just doing normal stuff like going to the supermarket or talking to people on the bus, I have learnt more than I ever could have ... read more

I'm not sure where the distinction is between a power cut and a blackout but either way, I'm in one. I'm sitting in a cafe where I was given a free cake to go with my lasagne, cheesecake and coffee and about 5 minutes ago the lights went out. It always happens very suddenly here, without any warning at all, and as I look out now everything I can see is dark. The Taco Bell opposite, the Grocers next door, the ice cream shop, the bank and all the street lights are all pitch black. This is a fairly regular thing in Costa Rica, it happens about once a week, but most of the time it seems to be a residential thing. The shops, cafes and bars don't seem to be affected, so it feels weird ... read more

Whilst all of the other stuff I have been talking about happens, Carpio goes on. We still go everyday and it is still the best and most rewarding part of everything I do out here. Everything I wrote about back at the start (if I knew how to do a hyperlink, it would be here, but as it is you'll just have to go back and find it yourself) is still completely true and valid but after several months I now know the kids and their personalities and I can talk to the Pastor in Spanish everyday which just makes the whole experience ten times better. Alongside all the playing around we do, over the last couple of weeks I have also started spending half an hour or so a day with one of the 11 ... read more

There is an old saying from someone like Samuel Johnson that goes something like "When you're tired of London, you're tired of life". I don't live in London, but if San Jose had it's own version it would be along the lines of "When you start to think men walking through town holding Machetes is normal, it's probably time to go home". It is something that we see maybe two or three times a week and whilst it was shocking and more than a bit scary on the first few occasions, now it hardly warrants a mention and anyone who does bring it up is usually looked upon as an attention seeker or a wide eyed, naive youth, as yet unaccustomed to everyday life in San Jose. The Machetes always seem to be carried by guys ... read more

Good evening everyone. Before I arrived here I read that Costa Rican cuisine was 'basic', which is about as near as a guide book gets to saying that it's either 'boring' or 'rubbish'. I assumed this 'basic' tag must be ill-informed because there was no way that a country just south of Mexico and a bit north of Argentina could have anything other than varied, exciting food. But it turns out that those two countries are really not as close and you think they are, and that's reflected in the food. The national dish is something called Gallo Pinto, which may sound fancy but it's actually just rice and beans. I have always been a little confused by the term 'national dish'. I don't know if it's something that is a staple food of the country ... read more

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