Tuesday, July 21, 2009
One always assimilates the new by comparison, contrast and associations with the familiar. It struck me right away, before we even landed that San Jose reminds me forcefully of Quito.
The first thing that made me smile was the juxtaposition of the Denny's and the Fiesta Casino. I realized that Denny's was the fancy restaurant associated with the Casino. A few miles later the same phenomena occurred. Another casino, another Denny's.
Our first hotel in San Jose was homey, clean and quite lovely. The patio was a virtual jungle complete with parrots and a little capucine monkey with a sad face. (I'm trying one more time to upload more pics. If it doesn't work this time, it'll have to wait!!)
We got acquainted with San Jose a bit before heading to the coast. San Jose is clean and well organized -- except for traffic. Traffic in Latin American counties is.... well traffic in latin America!!! The people are quite friendly. Bob blended immediately. They mistook him for a Tikko right away! Me? Well, what does one do with red hair that shouts "Gringa?"
Having quite a lovely time. Although on the road to the coast, I was stopped by an efficient traffic cop. Ma'am, did you know you're doing 94 kph? In Costa Rica the limits are 80, 60 adn 40. You are in an 80 kph limit. The law says, and he shows me the book, there is a 50,000 colon fine for speeding. This has to be paid at a bank and there will be 30% fees added for processing. I'm gulping, eyes wide and very respectful. He gives me the whole spiel and I think I'm had. (About $130.00 American) Then he says, "First time in Costa Rica?" Gulp. "Si!" Well, I'm going to just warn you this time. "Gracias, Gracias." "But no more speeding." "Si, senor! No mas." (No picture, I didn't dare.)
And relieved...we head on down the road. For some reason, my foot is considerably lighter the rest of the way to the coast. It just won't go faster than 70-75 to Samara!!!
Nice, polite people, these Costa Ricans. Very effective!