Saturday, October 6, 2012

Yes way, San Jose

I am not a big city kind of girl. Don't get me wrong, some of my favourite places to which I have been were bigger cities; Luxor and Cairo Egypt, Paris France, Barcelona Spain, Budapest Hungary, Rome Italy, Munich and Frankfurt Germany... But generally I just love 'em and leave 'em. I especially thought this would be the case with Basil in tow. I can't stand smog and exhaust, the sound of shrieking car horns drives me batty. I do not love massive crowds, pushing and shoving. I don't appreciate skyscrapers the way others do. Pavement is not my best friend. Touts in your face and beggars under your feet get on my nerves, fast. Higher prices for everything and crawling with tourists? No thanks. So when we pulled into stinky San Jose with an underfed, sleep deprived baby (and mama) I was ready to get to a hotel and get out of this city.
Next scene: day 5 in stinky San Jose... do we have to leave already!?
Once again, I am forced to ask myself "Ew, does this mean I am a big city street rat?" But as soon as I begin to believe that everything for which I stand is turning on me, I arrive at our next destination, take a sigh of relief and reassure myself "Oh yeah, no, I'm definitely not a city girl". But as for now I am loving this place. For the moment I can't imagine myself anywhere but our little Hostel Gran Imperial, which really does live up to its name. I could argue that this is the nicest place we have stayed while out on the road. Nicer than a Motel 6, that's for sure. They even provide toilet paper (!!), soap, sheets, sometimes coffee (Costa Rican coffee. Jeff would be in heaven) a community kitchen and bathrooms (which are separate) a large television in the communal area which is often blasting a sub-titled "Friends" or "Big Bang Theory". And the balcony. I love me some of this balcony. Wrapping around two sides of the building, high enough that passersby (almost never tourists) below rarely notice you, plenty of chairs and tons of potted plants, and positioned perfectly to watch the crack dealers on the adjacent corner. Don't act shocked; you probably have a crack-house on your block and you just don't know about it. Anyway, the nightly raids have provided much entertainment. It amazes me that they continue to show up when they know the cops will just come back. Yet somehow, it is the same guys every apparently the punishment is bearable, if there is one at all. I watch people buy peanuts all day from my perch and breathe in the smoke coming from a tall, nearby pipe, which smells something like burning caramel popcorn. To the left and right of me, the street ends in mountain, sparkling with lights at dusk. Right now there is not a cloud in the sky, but that will change in a matter of 30 minutes, when it will probably be pouring rain. I don't know how anyone dresses for the day here. Hot, cold, sunny, cloudy, windy, stagnant...eight times a day. Yet for this moody weather, the temperature stays fairly consistent. And, best of all, the people here are so wonderful. And they all adore Basil. Of course.

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