13 July 03 - San Jose, Costa Rico
San Jose, Costa Rico - 13 July 2003
Well, I made it to San Jose. After a late night of straightening up the apartment, with Sharikay's help, I had a car come at 4:45am. When I went to the airport, I tried to figure out if my frequent flyer number was registered. The flight attendants didn't speak very good english, so they weren't sure what I wanted. That turned out to be great, though, because they upgraded me to First Class!
I arrived at San Jose airport at around 11:00 this morning. (San Jose is two hours behind New York.) I hadn't made any arrangements, and the lady at customs gave me a hard time for showing up without any accommodations booked, but she let me in anyway. I used my few phrases of Spanish to get some information about youth hostels and found one called the Galileo Hostel downtown. The next task was to get money. When I went to the ATM, I found out that the Costa Rican currency is called the Colon. I didn't know how much it was worth, so I figured I'd get 100 Colon to start. When I used the ATM, it said that it only dispenses money in multiples of 1000 Colon. So, I took 10,000, not knowing it that's enough for to buy a house or to buy a sandwich. (It turns out that it's around US$20.)
The next challenge was to get into town. Of course, I was too cheap to get a $15 cab ride, so I used my broken Spanish to figure out how to use the local bus system, and happily paid my $0.40 fare. I only missed my stop by one stop, so it was only a five minute walk to the hostel. The Hostel is VERY nice. Quite clean with new amenities. I splurged on a private room. If the promised hot water really worked, it would almost be worth the hefty $16 a night price tag.
I walked all around town today. I went to the Museo National, sat down on a bench and accidentally fell asleep for an hour. (I had my sunglasses on, so no one noticed.) When I woke up, it was pouring rain. I made it back to my hostel though and had a cervesa and a hamburger. Now it's time to relax a bit and then turn in.