As I mentioned in my previous post, my bathroom broke water. I need to find a new toilet, pot, throne, reading chair, include your favorite name here. I head to the Home Depot of Costa Rica called EPA.
As I walk to EPA, it is only 10 minutes from my house. It seems almost everything is 10 minutes from my house. Bonus. I notice a sign which looks more like a donut shop than a hardware store. If it is a donut shop, it sure is a large one. They must have lots of donuts. A toilet seat is similar to a donut.
These days everything is online. How about going to University all online. If it is all online, your location can be anywhere. Imagine getting a college degree all the while living in a tropical paradise.
Well, I already have bachelor’s degree in computer science. I wanted to continue my education, though. I decide to signup for a University College level course at the University of Washington in Seattle. This works both ways, if you can be anywhere in the world, the University you attend can be anywhere in the world. What a life hack. Hey, I’m a life hacker.
I set my iPhone clock for bedtime mode. I want to sleep consistently. My goal is to sleep at 9 pm and awake at 5 am. Eight hours is what you need. It takes little effort for me to awake at 5 am here. I think it has something to do with being close to the equator. I wrote all about it here.
It works! I’m awake at 5am, make my bed, put on my walking shoes and I’m out the door by 5:15 am. I walk for 30 minutes leaving to the right of the entrance, making a complete circle, and finally arriving to the left of the entrance. The guard was surprised I left one side and came back from the other side. Bonus.
After visiting and living in Costa Rica off and on for almost 20 years. I have moved here for good. No plans to return this time. I bought a one way ticket. It was messy getting here permanently and I’m still waiting for some kind of residency. It will happen this time. I’m here. Done.
I have made the trip from the United States many times, this time was the most excited I have been. It is like going to another planet. You know your are never going to see Kansas again. You are venturing into the unknown. A new world of opportunity. This must of been how the people fleeing England to come to America felt like. Of course, there were no grocery stores where they were going. I feel blessed to be able to experience this new world pioneer even in this modern age.
I invite you to follow me for the next few days as I record my venture into this new unchartered territory for myself. Let’s begin.
I’m going back to Costa Rica on a one way ticket. I have no plans to return. Good bye United States of America! Thank you for my economic freedom; however, I can do without your “culture of hate”, ass grabbing corporate executives, racists, bigots, judgmental people, television hosts, fake news, and fake people. There is none of that where I’m going. I’m going to create my own world. ¡Hasta la vista!
Today I began my initial step in becoming a minimalist. I gathered all of my clothes I have accumulated for the past 30 years and stashed them in four large black trash bags. I drove to the Rolling Hills ministry. They donate clothing for disaster relief. I drive and drive. I wonder if I will ever arrive. Then it appears. A nondescript building with a sign saying Thrift store. I wasn’t sure where to direct my vehicle with all of the trash bags. I take note of a sign on the side of the building. The talking sign says business drop off. I was about to drop off 30 years of business.
The evening before the day of independence in Costa Rica, there is an event called La Noche de los Faroles. I ventured out on the 14th of September 2017 to my barrio in Curridabat to catch a glimpse of the festivities and torch carrying students. I left my home about 5pm with a 10 minute walk to the park Parque de Municipalidad de Curridabat. The children from every school in the country, create a farol. In english:
farol – a lantern, street lamp, or lamp.
Each farol is uniquely created by each child. I imagine the parents had to help, some of the faroles were very detailed. Each one represented something related to Costa Rica and the day of independence (September 15th). I saw many different kinds, created from cardboard, plastic bottles, boxes, and some were very intricate. Almost all of them had a light inside.
I entered the concealed eatery with trepidation. Hidden on an unassuming corner of Barrio Escalante. Even many locals do not know of this hidden line of eating joints lined up and down the street like pearls on a string. Each one seemingly as delectable as the next.
My expectations were low for this particular place. In fact, I almost decided to discard it on my journey down Calle 33. Little did I know I was about to discover the Utopia of gastronomic pleasure I have ever discovered.
Utopia an imaginary and indefinitely remote place, a place of ideal perfection, first used by Sir Thomas Moore in 1816.
I waited for what felt like 10 minutes which was really only a minute. My heart was racing and was nervous being a lone foreigner in a foreign lugar place. Even though I have lived here for years. I still am obviously not from around here. No one was attending or offering a table. A chico appears. Believing he is the mesero waiter. I respond with a Hola. He quips Hola quickly and walks outside to smoke a cigarro cigarette. Yes people still smoke in this tierra land.
Each time I come back to this Central American paradise, there is always something new. Being a third-world country or emerging market some call it, there is lots of room for progress. One new addition, at least a new discovery for me is Barrio Escalante.
Escalante – A Spanish last name which means a climber or one who climbs.
Barrio Escalante is a neighborhood of San José. It is in a world of its own. In fact, the first time I visited this Uber cool haunt, I thought I was in a different country. This can’t be Costa Rica. It feels different, has a different vibe.
I’m back in the land of pure life pura vida. The flight from Houston was smooth without a hitch. I stopped by Pappadeaux’s in terminal E for the usual shrimp cocktail and gumbo. This time I opted for the Lobster Bisque instead of gumbo. I thought I would start my visit to this Central American paradise with a top 10 list about the quirks I have encountered while living in Costa Rica. Here you go. Enjoy. Disfrute.