4. FESTIVAL DE LAS ARTES
Monday, March 19
On Wednesday, as on every other weekday, we had school from 8 ‘till 12 am and we had lunch with a group of COSI-students in a place nearby (3 minute walk). In the afternoon, I Skyped with Jotte for almost an hour! This was actually the first time we spoke on the ‘phone’ since I arrived, so I was obviously very glad to be doing so. As you might have noticed in my last blog, I wasn’t at first all that enthusiastic about being here. Not knowing what the hell I was doing here and being absolutely unable to remember why I wanted to go here in the first place, I didn’t wake up too excited the first few mornings. After I talked to Jotte, though, I didn’t feel as alone anymore and I could actually be excited about being here, discovering San José, learning Spanish, meeting people, etc. Thank Skype for not making me feel that far away from home!
At 4pm, Verena (my housemate) went to the dancing class that was being held at COSI and I did my homework. After I did my homework, I took
La Noche Tica
Costa Rican dancers
a little nap (self-initiated siesta) because at 6 we would all meet at COSI for ‘La Noche Tico’ – a cultural night at COSI. The Tico-night started off with a little introduction story held by Rolando; a teacher at COSI, who is also the guy who picked me up from the airport and brought me to my apartment. He told us something about the culture of Costa Rica, it’s heritage, and it’s traditional dances and food. When the lights were dimmed and we heard a weird kind of screech yelled out by a woman, music started and dancers came out on ‘stage’. The screech turned out to be a typical Costa Rican ‘yell’ that is originally from the country side. The dancers (one man and two women) performed typical Costa Rican dances, did games with us (yes, us…) that are typically Costa Rican, and even tried to teach us one of their dances! These are very pushy people, so you really can’t just sit and watch (believe me, I tried). Even with the excuse of “but, I’m filming this”, they just pull you off your chair and make you dance! After this, all of us had dinner together. The dinner
La Noche Tica
Howerd (USA) got to demonstrate the first game - OHH what could it be?!
was a typical Costa Rican dish: aroz y frijoles (rice and beans), plátanos (a kind of sweet banana), and chicken (but I didn’t eat that… Damn me and my headstrong pescetarianism!). This rice and beans gets old really quickly though. Although it’s tasty, if you’ve eaten it three or four times, you’ve seen it and you just want a big ol’ pizza next time… Haha!
After taking a billion pictures of the group (“¡una mas, una mas!”), La Noche Tico ended a bit abruptly, so we decided we’d go out for beers. With a multi-culti group of people, we walked about 10 minutes (everything’s pretty close here) to ‘Los Profesionales’ and had some Imperials (the local beer – it’s good!). The group consisted of a Costa Rican, a Brazilian, a Swiss, a British, a Austrian, a Japanese, and of course a Dutch (me…)! It was really fun to be with so much different nationalities at one table, all trying to speak Spanish.
As always, school ‘till 12 am, lunch with a bunch (oh lordy, I made a rhyme!), and then I went to downtown San José with Verena, Carla and Iyani. We first went
La Noche Tica
Verena was kidnapped to be dressed up in typical Tica clothing
to Mercado Artesenal, an artsy market with a lot of things for tourists to buy. Even though it was very touristy, I liked it – I even bought me some earrings and two little souvenirs for home! No one liked it as much as Iyana, though! Everytime we would turn around, she was missing again! We’d walk back a bit and check the stands, saying “¿Donde es Iyani?” (the Spanish variant of ‘Where Is Wally?’). Soon, “Where’s Iyana walking now?” became “Where’s Iyani buying now?” because I swear, that girl helped those people make their daily quota and more. We laughed our asses off… 😊
After the art market, we walked around some (with the help of my awesome map reading skills) to check out two hostels for Verena, who’s going to travel around with her sister in a while. When we were in the second hostel, the awesome common rooms and the hostel-vibe actually got me longing for England again for a bit! On the way back from the second hostel to the bus, we stopped at a supermarket to buy some bread and coffee (which turned out to be awesome coffee!) and I got to experience Verena
La Noche Tica
Todos los estudiantes
in heaven. Because, apparently that’s what supermarkets are for her – strange girl… :P
That night, we went out for sushi-dinner with Alonzo (the guy from the COSI-front desk), his brother, Jessica, Verena and Erica (the Japanese girl). Of course, Erica taught us loads about the ways of the sushi eater and taught us, full of charisma, how to say “I’m hungry” in Japanese. I have never laughed so hard over a simple phrase like that. Unfortunately the sushi wasn’t the best sushi we’d had (everyone agreed) and most of us actually had stomach aches that night, so… fun, but never again! 😊
Friday morning, I had yoghurt for breakfast(thanks to the sushi from last night), went to class ‘till 12 again, and then had a SIESTA! When I woke up at 6 pm (whoops), all I wanted to do was continue sleeping, but I couldn’t. We were going to visit the ‘Festival Internacional de las Artes’ (international art festival), where there would be food stands and live music. When we got there, it was already a 30-minute line for the toilets, so you’ll probably have an image of how crowded it was! There
was a big (BIG!) crowd in front of the stage and the people there were very good-humored. The band was already 30 minutes late, but still every time just anything happened on stage (for example, a technical dude came on to plug something in), someone would start cheering and literally everyone would cheer along! At one point, we even heard the Costa Rican yell (from the country side) behind us! It was very amusing to experience the enthusiasm of these people. And then I haven’t even mentioned the fireworks! I’ve never been at Times Square at New Years eve, but I bet the enthusiasm of the New Yorkers when the ball drops, would be equal to the enthusiasm of the Costa Ricans when they saw fireworks behind a bunch of trees…Yes. Behind trees. --- Also worth mentioning, is the load amount of vodka that has been consumed by two innocent-looking girls. Doesn’t matter, though. It led to a load amount of laughing-so-hard-I-almost-peed-my-pants. :D
Somewhere between the crazy cheering and the regrouping (we’d lost some girls to the search for beer, but they found their way back), we’d met some locals who suggested we’d go to a bar. Since the
And view of Avenue Central
festival wasn’t all that and one of the guys had a car, we decided to come along. Simulating the 12-clowns-in-a-Mini (am I saying this right? I really suck at remembering jokes) situation, we drove over to the bar (which turned out to be just around the corner of our school and homes), literally RAN inside, “popped a squad” as they say (went to the bathroom), ordered beers, and DANCED! Yay! It was around 2:30 that we were back at the apartment. We had some late night snack and I went to sleep at around 3 am – proudly, because I had broken the old-fart-cycle!
Thinking I had broken the cycle of being exhausted at 10 pm and waking up at 6:30 am, I woke up this morning at (you guessed it) 6:30 sharp! I looked at the time, disagreed, and went right back to sleep again. That time doing a better job, for I woke up at 12! That’s better… 😊 Jessica’s staying with a family just around the corner from our apartment, so she came over to… give us two mangos. She’d felt guilty for eating all of our cheese during the late night
snack, so felt obligated to provide us with these magnificent pieces of fruit.
It was already about 4 pm when me and Verena went to the super market (Auto Mercado) to do some serious shopping, ‘cause we were about to COOK DINNER! That was gonna be a first! It’s pretty tricky here to buy some good bread, because they have plenty of choice, but most of them turn out to be dry and very sweet – no me gusta. The dinner is not worth mentioning; for it was macaroni and pasta sauce from a pot (we added fresh tomatoes, though!).
Oh, the 24-hour traveling from Amsterdam to San José has given me a bladder infection (boo!), but Verena has an entire pharmacy with her (thanks to her sister) so she gave me some ‘general’ antibiotics (yay!). And they work (yay!)!
For the rest… we hooked up the iPod to the boxes of the computer, so we have good music! 😊
Sunday was Skype-day. I woke up at 10am, Skyped with the parents (and also a bit with my sister and her boyfriend, because they barged in), did some homework, Skyped with the boyfriend (first
A dry creek nearby our apartment
time to SEE him again! Yay, he’s still the same :D …You know, after all this time…), went to Zapote’s Multiplaza where I bought a t-shirt and again saw the ridiculousness of the American influences here. I swear, every mall or shopping center has more food-stores then other stores! Everywhere you look is a Wendy’s, a Burger King, a McDonalds, or whatever the *@^# is reaaally unhealthy. It was a good walk though, I’m getting plenty of exercise here (especially compared to the amount of exercise I got at home – ahum…)! And I even bought an 8GB USB-stick – just because it was so cheap.
This evening, sweet Jessica came along again and showed us what a real pasta sauce is. Armed with a load of vegetables, she conquered our kitchen and made us a delicious dinner. I went to bed a happy (and also tired… even though it was only 10 pm) woman. Ready for the next school week…
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