Well a first impression should usually be told fresh, but even though I am typing this up 9 months after my first views, smells, tastes, and experiences in Costa Rica, I remember it all with precision.
Now this grim impression quickly changed. Costa Rican people, usually referred to as ‘Ticos’, are some of the friendliest, chattiest and most selfless that I have ever met. And you will meet them! Soon enough I was telling my life story to the fruit seller, flirting with the women in the central market, being invited to dinners and parties, and stumbling my way through Salsa, Cumbia, and Merengue footwork. If you lend your time to a Tico, you will more often than not be honored with their fantastic company.
As I got to know the people and the city, I felt more comfortable. Where I once saw a scary shack, I saw a happy family’s home. Where I saw a sketchy back alley, I saw my favorite place to get away from the crowd and sing a tune on my way to the bus stop. Dingy became cozy; awful become laughable, and dull became cultured. Most guide books and travelers will tell you to skip right past San Jose and make your way to the nearest beach, but quite honestly, for a city of it’s size, age, and location San Jose has a lot to offer. There is not an abundance of architectural beauty or history like in Europe, but there is a lot to encounter if you just look.
Once it’s put down in writing, San Jose sounds down right cosmopolitan. I am not really sure if that is the right word for it. But it is a place that welcomes you and soon starts to feel like home. After a few months of living in Costa Rica’s capital I can say I felt right at home. I attribute this a lot to the people, but that out of any place I have lived so far Costa Rica has felt the most like a home away from home.
I am not going to get too sentimental now, so I will leave my intro to Costa Rica there, and publish some more details about the specifics soon as I can.
¡Pura Vida Mae!