The Perplexities of Costa Rica or What I Will and Will Not Miss

I just need to describe my scene right now – freshly pressed and ground coffee (organic, local), soy milk that is double the price than back home (and it’s so worth it right now), my eyes still puffy from rubbing away the remnants of REM sleep, and listening to the river and bamboo in the wind…

…then a motorcycle drives by and sets off two car alarms.

I will not miss the motorcycles setting off all the car alarms along the street

… the tiny flies always in the bathroom and the tiny ants… everywhere

… the cars and trucks advertising who-knows-what over obnoxious crude loud speakers

… the hill back from the Fresh Market

… the constant dog barking

… the nonexistent sidewalks

… not knowing what you’ll find walking to the bathroom in the middle of the night (you’re never alone)

… the cat-calls

… being able to pick out constellations on my legs from all the mosquito bites

… the constant flicker of the lights from power surges

I will miss waking up and falling asleep to the sound of the river and birds

… that fleeting moment in the morning when the air is crisp from the night but in the direct sunlight you can feel the approaching heat of the day

… sitting on the porch and listening to the bamboo in the wind

… platanos tostados and fresh agua de pipa from the market… well, the market in general

… watching the complex interactions between the dogs of the neighborhood

… leaving all the doors open so the kitties can come and go when they please

… Mouse always announcing his presence when he comes upstairs

… having family stay at the amazing Casa de las Tias and walking down that hill to meet them for the first time

… watching the Boyeros ride their horses down the hill

… La Casona Del Laly’s patacones mixtos and arroz con pollo

… the weather patterns: hot, sunny mornings clouding over, thunder off in the distance then a sudden cold breeze accompanied by dark clouds over head – the skies open up the rain drops are so large it looks and sounds like hail

… watching Chichi grow

… our amazing downstairs neighbor, Nicki, without whom we could not have survived

… the mountain view from our kitchen

I’m looking forward to seeing family

… watching the weather channel and knowing what’s going on

… better, non-processed, high quality food (cheese, I’m talking to you)

… not having to wear the same rotation of clothing

… Michigan wine

… those green highway signs

– Jes

EDIT: The list keeps growing!

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6 responses to “The Perplexities of Costa Rica or What I Will and Will Not Miss

  1. Jessie — Your list paints a wonderful and vivid portrait of Costa Rica. In fact, I’m making copies of it to hand out to my students at the Bear River Writers Conference this weekend. My workshop is about capturing the sense of a place, and I think your approach here could make an effective and fun exercise to get everyone “into” a place they want to write about. Thank you! Can’t wait to see you and Nick next week.

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