Saturday, February 07, 2009

More day five

I got quite a lump from the hit, and even a couple weeks later there's some swelling or something preventing a comfortable leg bend. And that was on top of this:

I mentioned Patricia in an earlier post. After running the river we had a lot of wet gear that was getting a river funk, and where we stored our gear was also the laundry room in the basement of the Interamericano. The washers and dryers were not coin operated and Josh decided to use the washer, asking forgiveness later if necessary. I thought better of it, hung up my damp gear on the clotheslines so it would still be damp in the morning, and headed upstairs. What I missed afterwards I can only report second-hand, and would have made for some really exciting video coverage. Apparently, Patricia noticed that the washers were in use. Let me preface this by saying that while we were in Domincal, Josh asked each of us what we thought a load of paid laundry would cost. We guessed around two or three bucks. No, it was more like ten. Ten dollars for someone to wash and dry your clothing. Not cheap. She came down to confront Josh about the laundry and was visibly upset and overly emotional about the whole situation. Apparently Josh had crossed some line in her mind that made him an evil person and subject to her wrath.

A bit later Patricia and Josh had a conversation outside of the room. I was there for that one. Josh stressed that is was simply a business issue and she was making it a personal one. He felt that she glared at him when he walked by, something she denied, and that he didn't want there to be any of these vibes going on. He was willing to pay for the service and be done with it. She did listen intently and eventually they agreed he would give her 10 dollars for the laundry ( I don't even think he used the dryer). One thing about Costa Ricans is they are fond of their coins. Paper money doesn't last long; as soon as you buy anything you end up with a pound or two of the thick, heavy Colones in change. Josh took advantage of the opportunity to dump all of his small coins that just mostly take up space...

Change, anyone?
Her reaction was disappointing: neither angry or amused.

Dinner in Turriabla was a little hard to find; I think that it must not be a major dining hour in their culture. Most of the restaurants were either closed or empty. We did find an open and busy establishment across from the town square - which was a city block long and wide park which advertised having internet access... yes, I want to sit out in a public park at night with a $2400 computer out of its bag... - that was busy and served pizza along with other norteamericano style entries. Before we had found the restaurant we paid for some internet access at this large facility that was upstairs with probably 30 or more booths with computers. The high speed there was fantastic and pretty cheap. The ambience was rather severe, but either they didn't understand the value of such things or didn't want people camping out there all day. Although, there was a couch near the table I set up shop at.

The restaurant also had high speed access for free, and we saw some people from the hostel, including Zack Boles, who is a sponsored kayaker. We'd tried to hook up with him to share a ride and a river, but between the miscommunication and stubbornness of the 'oh I quoted you way too low' outfit on the first morning, to other plans that involved hiking and whatnot.

Geeking out at the restaurant. The only grounded electrical outlets were above us.

The food was something else. Pizza was the safest bet, but I don't eat cheese, so that wasn't an option. We shared some mini-tacos; it was easy enough to pluck off the lump of cheese that polluted each shell. Ordered a salad that was heavily salted to the point where I just couldn't choke it down - most of it was consumed by Kevin and Alex... and some spaghetti that was enough to satisfy perhaps a 98 pound girl. The dish ended up upsetting my stomach a little - the only time in Costa Rica I had any of that sort of trouble... I supplemented with some sandwich bread that was quite good. The weirdest thing was what they considered salsa: thin stripes of ketchup, mayo and mustard across your entry. Salsa is sort of a generic term in Costa Rica, its ingredients open to interpretation by anyone who sells it.


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