I don’t want it to seem like I’m always complaining or talking about how hard it is to do such-and-such while living here. So how about a positive word for a change of pace? I thought it might be nice to share a few of the things I really enjoy about living in Costa Rica. Here we go.
Well, pineapple, mango, bananas, guanabana, mora, cilantro, tomatoes, limes, ginger and basil for starters. We enjoy the freshest most amazing and most beautiful produce you could imagine. And it’s all grown and transported from within a few hours drive of the Saturday morning open air market that we buy it at. I love driving through Heredia on Friday night before the market and seeing pickup trucks, minivans and even 4-door sedans loaded with veggies ready for sale. A lot of this produce comes not from large farms, but right from somebody’s back yard where it’s picked and washed and crated for the weekend. And it’s cheap. I usually spend between 4,000, and 6,000 colones ($8-$12) on all the fruits, vegetables, and fresh herbs we’ll use in a week. And I love walking down the long corridor of vendors as they call out what they’re selling. I also don’t mind that when I stop to touch something, or smell it, or ask what it is, they call me “reina”(queen), or “macha”(blondie), or any form of beautiful, pretty or young. These guys know how to sell! So, I leave with a full bag of produce and a full ego too.
Then there’s the scenery. Our commute to work takes about 15 minutes from our house, but never ceases to amaze me. You’d really have to see it to believe it, but it includes coffee fields, and banana trees, tiny one lane bridges over creeks that become raging rivers when it rains, old men sitting on gated front porches and – not even kidding – a volcano. And of course there are flowers and vines growing in every direction. It’s still stunning to me every time I see it.
I could also talk about the beaches, the wildlife (we’ve had some memorable encounters with monkeys), the movies (which are only about $3), the rain and the sun – all of which are quite remarkable and endearing to me, but, truly, the people are the most amazing part of Costa Rica. I have learned so much from the culture here already. I’ve learned to love the way they greet each other with a smoochy cheek to cheek kiss. The way they touch your forearm when they talk with you. The way they love the old people around them. The pride with which they speak of their country. They are lovely and amazing and I appreciate each day that I get to know them better.
I could go on. There are countless things I love about living here and even more to be discovered. I’ll try to share more about both the hardships and the…uh…grreeatships?…of living here. Okay? So stay tuned.