Life in the fast lane
With a tourist Visa, we are only allowed to be in Costa Rica for 3 months at a time before we have to make a trip outside of the country. So last week we took a 5 day trip to Orlando. We did not visit Disney, Universal or Seaworld, instead we shopped, ate and shopped. We ate at every restaurant that we don’t have here, which is everything except McDonald’s and Burger King, and we shopped at every store we don’t have here which is….. every store. Our days consisted of getting up, eating, getting good coffee, shopping, eating, shopping, eating, stopping at Wal-Mart or Target ( I consider this more gathering than shopping), sleeping,repeat. We did this for 5 days, with one afternoon to go watch Captain America in a real movie theater with really bad movie popcorn. Sure miss that little luxury, but don’t miss the cost.
Living here you quickly learn to appreciate the simple lifestyle, with the difficult process, but you miss the luxuries that we as Americans have grown up with. Fast food, fast shopping and entertainment around every corner. We don’t have those luxuries here. Fast food is 45 minutes away, and fast food at a local soda is usually a real meal with rice and beans. Entertainment is scarce. There are no local movie theaters, and the ones in Liberia are often in Spanish. There is a hopping bar scene, but that is more depressing than entertainment, at least in my eyes. Our entertainment usually involves group get togethers and more often than not, a beach. So in that aspect life is simple, and it is fantastic.
However, it does not mean we do not miss this stuff. When it is put right in front of you, it is hard to resist. Convenience is everywhere and always.
One thing that we are missing, that we don’t miss; Sirens. I heard 5 times more sirens in the 5 days we spent in Kissimmee than I have heard in 3 months in CR. In fact I can only think of two times that I have heard sirens since I have been here. Over spending; sure things here are often quite more expensive than back in the states, but there are far fewer things to spend $$ on. Once you get set and established, you can live quite effectively on a minimal budget. The initial setup is spendy, and the luxuries will cost you, but you don’t really have the plethora of places to spend your money that you do back in the good ole USA.Traffic; Sure driving here can be tricky and even treacherous, but there is no traffic. Almost all traffic slow downs are caused by a herd of cows being herded by three vaqueros on horses. You pretty much just pick your way through them, go around the tourists taking pictures, and keep going on your way. Besides, if you are late, no big deal. It’s Costa Rica, Pura Vida, plain and simple. Schedules are loose, times are more zones than minutes, Monday can mean any Monday, and closing / opening times are often displayed with an “ish” after the time.
It takes quite a while to get used to, as we have not, but it is much easier to appreciate after a trip back to the Mother Land. Well I best be going, the kids got out of school an hour ago, and I was supposed to pick them up and I still have to get me an iced coffee along the way. I gotta have something to do in case I get stuck behind some cows.