Long, long day but I got a lot done. I woke up early and Mary had breakfast waiting for me, all typical dishes. Then she introduced me to her neighbor and showed me where to catch the bus to downtown San Jose. Bus fare is really cheap but I don’t know if I’ll ever get them figured out. And the traffic is crazy: half the roads don’t seem to have lines painted on, and when the roads do have lines, the bus appeared to be driving down the middle. Hardly any stop lights, even in the busiest areas. And forget crosswalks. In fact, there don’t appear to be any road rules at all. But once we got to central San Jose it was easy to walk around. There’s a plaza area in the middle with no cars and tons of stores. Libreria Universal is a big department type store with electronics and office stuff so I found some stuff I needed for class. Then we went down the street to a jeweler/ souvenir store so Mary could get a watch resized and I found some cute handmade presents. Almost all of one street was shoe stores-zapaterias. We went to the Mercado Central, which is a lot like Kansas City’s City Market, but all under one roof and I only recognized about half the produce. All kinds of crafts, spices, butchers, vendors, bakeries, arranged every which way, it was like walking through a maze. Mary got some spices and some jocotes for me to try since I’d never had them. Hard to describe these, they have the skin and texture of mangos but a different flavor and you eat them with the skin on:
I worked on getting class stuff set up but still need to figure out a scanner. I spent all afternoon working, and lost track of time until Mary called me down around 6 to have some sweet water, which is hot water with sugarcane- tastes like molasses, which I love. And her husband Carlos was home so Mary made me some homemade tortillas and we talked while he ate dinner. My Spanish really needs work, but Carlos and Thais work with tourists a lot and their English is really good. Carlos said I could go with him if I want when he’s taking groups on trips which is awesome. He and Thais go all over the country and seem to have friends everywhere. I do really want to see Arenal, the volcano; there are lots of things to do around there.
After that, Carlos took me to the corner store to get a SIM card for my phone. The store is only a block or so south of the house, very close. There’s a lot within walking distance. It gets dark earlier here, around 5:30, but we walked around the block so I could see the park. The card we got was too big for the SIM tray in my phone but it’s the only type they had. Carlos trimmed down the plastic around the metal part though and we got it to fit though. So I now have Movistar, which is the big phone carrier down here, along with Kolbi. And I managed to navigate their website all by myself to add minutes, even though it’s entirely in Spanish. Yay me!
Then I came back and finished a couple assignments for my Web Design Applications and Industry class. I’m going to have to relearn a bunch of stuff, I think I’ve completely forgotten how to use Illustrator. Tomorrow I’m going to do some more work and then go to the farmer’s market with Thais and maybe explore some more. Buenos noches!