Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Kindness of Strangers

While we expect kindness from our kith and kin~there is something so pure and so stunning when a complete stranger does a gesture of kind.  Even more so if you don't share a language.

Today began with my usual beach meander (oh how I'll MISS walking down the beach and directly up to a cafe) to have a cup of coffee.  Then I hung out in the hammock at the B & B and had my last fresh coconut water.  My host and my little Montreal ami walked me down the lane and hung out with me until the bus came by.  Hugs and wishes for safe travels sent me down the road to San Jose.

I don't know who made this map, but I'm pretty sure no one has ever driven it in under four hours.  Between the volume of trucks (Del Monte, Chiquita, Dole~Limon is a major port on the Caribbean) and the insane motorcycles~winding up into the mountains takes about five or six hours.  When there's one road across the country, everyone is on it.  We stopped occasionally for bathrooms or snacks.  We also picked up random people~everything seems verrrry casual here.

After a woman boarded, she sat next to me and asked if I spoke English.  (How cool that after only a week, I am beginning to act local).  Said yes and we started chatting.  Turns out that she is from Sequim!!!   And she's lived in Costa Rica for two years now and adores it.  She gave me all the ins/outs should I want to move here.   She does CSI work for the national government.  This.  This is one of the reasons I love to travel.  All these connections.  Also had a lovely chat with a girl from Switzerland who quit her job and is in CR for a month and then heading to San Francisco.  Just on a whim to see some of the world.

We got to the edges of San Jose and the bus driver wanted to know different hotels where we were staying. For some reason, he couldn't go to mine (even though it's an airport hotel), but they dropped everyone off at a Dennys.  (see what I mean about casual?) The driver said that he would call his taxi-driving friend to take me to my hotel.

Which is all fine, but those off-license taxis don't take Visa and I didn't have cash left because I didn't think I needed it.  My seatmate happened to know a woman on the bus who was fluent in Spanish, so they explained it all and then, she loaned me the four thousand colones for the taxi fare.  She refused to give me her name or address.  Told me that I should move here and take care of other wandering travelers.  (Which is about $1.50.  But still.  It's the gracious gesture in the middle of a strange city at night.)

I realize that I've had a charmed trip.  I came pretty much on a whim.  I don't speak the language.  I picked places to stay/eat based on internet comments or just by walking upon them.  This airport hotel is another example of this ease.  It's a lovely walled-garden oasis right by the airport. I'll post photos of my al fresco dinner when I'm back in my phone range.  

Another 5 a.m. wake up for the airport, but hopefully I will be able to sleep on the leg to Miami.  And hopefully, Dulles will have dug itself out from under the blizzard by the time I need to find my car.

My last signing off in Costa Rica.  

For now.

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