As I got off the plane last night it hit me, “I’m in another country again!” The signs in Spanish directing me towards baggage claims and customs really hit me hard, “this is going to take some getting used to”
As I walked out of the airport I had crazy Spanish speaking Ticos screaming “TAXI, TAXI, TAXI FOR YOU”. I brushed them off and immediately saw in the distance who I was looking for. My new boss (and her friend) who offered me a ride to my hotel! This is smooth sailing, I thought, and almost too good to be true. We greeted each other, walked out into the parking lot, and I was immediately immersed in the feeling of Costa Rica. Warm temperatures, tropical climate, and a big bright shining moon practically begging me for attention. “The moon in New Jersey doesn’t look like that, I wonder if it’s the same one” I thought.
As we pulled out of the airport parking lot I had no idea where I was going, and I really had no idea where I was. I hardly knew these people, yet we were laughing like old friends. They found satisfaction in my reactions to Costa Rica. “I feel like I’m in Florida, so far” I said in a daze. Easy comparison, at first.
It was all pretty easygoing. Until we came up on the taxi in front of us.
“Is this guy drunk!?” we were yelling. He was swerving all over the road. It looked to me like there were passengers in the car, too. I felt SO bad for them, yet at the same time I was grateful that wasn’t MY ride. “Does this happen often?” I asked, as my bewildering and dreamy state of mind slowly faded, bringing me back to reality. “It’s probably because of the festival”, she said.
That’s right! The guy who I sat next to on the plane was talking about that. A festival, what a night to come to Costa Rica!
That’s when it all hit me. As we pulled into the city, I saw cowboys, motorcycles, couples laughing together, police tending to rowdy crowds, horses, and most of all, horse poop.
I felt like I was in the Wild West!!
My driver, and new boss, tried to navigate the roads. I was impressed, no doubt. “I hope every day of work is like this” I thought.
That’s when we came to a blockade. A blockade of horses. Horses that were dancing. Horses, ridden by cowboys, who were completely oblivious to cars and didn’t give a damn we were trying to get through, and enjoying every minute of it.
This is NOT New Jersey.