The calm before the storm
02/02/2010 - 02/06/2010 90 °F
I showed up at the Wide Mouth Frog Backpacker in Quepos with a five night reservation. I would camp out here until I moved in with my host family for the duration of the ESL class. I had to make the adjustment from the five star family Costa Rica tour accommodations to the “Dan is kind of a cheap ass” backpacker accommodations. My room at WMF is a box. It’s as long as a bed and about the same width. I’m paying $24 per night. There is a nice pool and a big common area where everyone hangs out at night. By the way, for the first time in this blog I am in the same place that I am writing about. Up until now I have been at least a week behind, trying to catch up to the present day.
When the family and I were traveling from the airport to Manuel Antonio a few days ago we passed through Quepos. My Dad said something like, “So this is your new home for awhile”. I replied, “Yeah, I’m coming home to a place I’ve never been before.” (John Denver, Rocky Mountain High) And that’s what it is. I’m not sure how long I’ll be here, six weeks minimum, but it’s going to be home for awhile. My goal is to figure this place out before class starts so I can focus in on getting that piece of paper that says I know how to teach English.
My clothes were getting a little raunchy so I combed Quepos looking for someone to do my laundry. No problem. I found a place that would get the job done for 1700 Colones by 5:00 the same day. Something was lost in translation (better get used to that ... or learn Spanish) because it cost me 4000 Colones when I showed up at 5:00 to get my clothes back. Turns out it’s 1700 Colones per kilo. That works out to ... $75 per pound ... or something. I don’t know. You figure it out. I picked up some beer and headed back to WMF.
The party was on that night, led by a fun loving Quebecois who had been throwing down Imperials all day long. I played a card game called ‘Asshole’ with a New York doctor, two German teenagers, a pilot from Canada and some other girl I couldn’t figure out ... another German I think. The game was fun for awhile but I got sick of losing so I started talking to another couple of Canadians about hockey (of course). One thing led to another and I broke out the remainder of the Guaro that we bought in Manuel Antonio. Everyone complained about how bad it was but it was gone in five minutes. The Quebecois came by and started stirring up trouble. I asked him now the Nordiques were doing this year. That shut him down for a few seconds, he got a little teary eyed, and then started in on me with the obvious ... you’re from San Francisco, you must be gay. Whatever. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Good times.
The next couple of days I spent most of the time walking around the city, hanging out at the pool, and working on this blog. I noticed a soccer game going on at the field a block down the road so I stopped by for a half of local Quepos men’s league competition. It was pretty good soccer for awhile ... but then they all got tired and the game broke down. An East coast Rastafarian looking Costa Rican sat down to chat with me for a little while and informed me about the cheap pot and cocaine that could be had in Quepos. Thanks, mon. He drifted off twenty minutes later when he realized I was more interested in a Slurpee than drugs.
I have met three people since I have been here that are involved with the ESL course that I am taking. One had just finished up, another is taking the March class after doing a month of Spanish immersion, and the other is enrolled in the February 8 class with me. Of course the most interesting of the three to me was the girl who had just finished the course. I grilled her for awhile about what I should expect. Apparently the course is tough. She was putting in twelve hour days during the second half of the training. The first half of the training is lecture, mostly English grammar and teaching techniques. The second half of the training is teaching practice. I’m going to do six teaching sessions, one of which is one on one. I had mixed feelings about hearing that the course was tough. On one hand I’m going to have to work hard, something I haven’t done in awhile, especially as a student. On the other hand it sounds like I’ll get some good training. I’m a little nervous. The guy who is taking the course with me is a SoCal surfer boy who has been touring the Costa Rican surf for the last few weeks.
Tomorrow I am meeting up with my host family and will stay with them for the duration of the TEFL training. I couldn’t find the place last time I tried. I think I’ll just get close again, drop my bags in the middle of the street and start screaming. The Costa Rican national election is also tomorrow. From what I’ve been told it’s going to bee a zoo around here, lots of flag waving and noise making. The Super Bowl is also tomorrow. I’m sick of the Colts. I’ll cheer for the Saints over at Wacky Wanda’s. It’s the place to be for sports in Quepos. Tomorrow has all the makings for a crazy day. I’m due for a crazy day, too much sitting around the pool lately. Bring it on.