From L.A., we flew to San Jose, Costa Rica today. After a long queue at the airport, as soon as we stepped out, I took a deep breath in and I could almost smell the tropical fruits in the air. (Maybe it's just my romanticism in the big city, who knows?) Weather was just perfect and the sun was setting tearing up the sky. I can say that I immediately connected with the land.
We took the bus to downtown San Jose and we were joyous to finally walk in the streets without feeling unsafe. (Both in L.A. & Vegas we felt quiet hesitant to be out on the streets after sunset. Yea, I know we must have rented a car, but we didn't...)
When we come to a new city, first night we usually are throughly confused. And then the next day, we walk the streets, we find places to eat, we become accustomed to the prices, we find the places where locals go, then we are fine. Tourist traps are just not what we are looking for that's why we find it worth for the first nights' trouble. The same happened in San Jose. We loved it here but we needed to locate ourselves.
When I go to a place, I first check the people to see how nice, how happy, how friendly they are. I believe that there is an ideal feel to people just like there is an ideal temperature to weather: 23 degrees Celcius. Ticos are 23 degrees celcius people: comfortable, live, real, full of life, loud, cheerful, happy and radiating love.
From our bus driver to our waitress, from the people on the streets to the guy who exchanged our money at the airport, everybody was utterly friendly and loving. Ticos are openhearted people. Whether you know your Spanish or not, they will find a way to communicate with you!
Before we came here, we were warned that Costa Rica was not a rich culture. Yes, this country may not acquire the variety of cuisine that many other Latin American countries have, nor the greatest prices (quiet touristy and expensive, I have to admit) and yes, they may not have their music playing everywhere along with their special dances, nor you can come across with their historical buildings on the streets (too bad, they have jungles instead!) but I still feel the opposite. Tico culture is a rich culture of cheerfulness, simplicity, kindness, respect for nature and enjoying the moment: Pura Vida! And to me, that's just too rich...
Yeap. My kinda paradise of tropical fruits! :))
Streets San Jose
Mercado Calle Nacional de Artesania y Pintura
Street Market - Crafts and Painting
This is an alive butterfly, eating banana at the National Museum
Costa Rica National Museum
Streets San Jose