Watch your toes day and night

Last night, after I got settled in with Gabi, I walked over to the supermarket. While there, I noticed that dark was quickly approaching so I asked a woman whether it is safe for women to walk at night in San Jose.

“Las mujeres nunca están seguras,” she gave me one of those stern mothering looks that reminded me of my good friend Samantha Shaw — she’d give me that stare down if I asked that question.

I could spend time writing about that introspective comment, but let’s just say I agree with the woman from the yogurt isle; women are never safe.

Watch your toes day and night

Women aren’t the only ones who need to remain alert when walking the streets in San Jose; everyone should, because the sidewalks have more cracks than a Playboy magazine.

As you saw in yesterday’s post, San Jose is pretty modern. There are crosswalks, sidewalks, paved roads, public buses with comfortable seating, trains, local airplanes, and street lights. However, it’s important to take into account that the trains run in the street alongside buses, cars, motorcycles, and pedestrians. What’s especially concerning is that drivers move about with the impatience of New York City taxi drivers, so you better have quick feet if you decide to walk! I’ve been walking everywhere and love it– best believe my legs are going to be lit.

Costa day 1_2
As you can see, Costa Rica has street lights, cross walks, etc…

One last point about streets, street signs are far and few. So know your way before you leave your home destination. If you don’t purchase an internet card for your SmartPhone, download, it’s a mapping tool that navigates without wifi.

I don’t want to feel like a tourist, although I am one

Studying abroad in Spain for about four months in college solidified my desire to experience new spaces as if I live there.

Today, I wandered around the Parque Nacional in Downtown San Jose, entered government buildings to ask questions about what goes on there (which proved to be a great way to practica mi Español), and stumbled into a presentation on digital databases at the Biblioteca Nacional.

Costa Day 2_Library
Biblioteca Nacional Miguel Obregon Lizano

See the images below to find out where else I went!

I spent about an hour at CENAC and close to three at El Museo Nacional (tons of great history and exhibits). The Museo also has a butterfly conservatory there at the moment — I spent quite some time reading about “mariposas” en Español.

Fun Fact! 

Marcus Garvey spent some years in Costa Rica working to get Afro-Costa Ricans (mostly of Jamaican descent) back to Africa. 

Costa Day 2_Marcus Garvey

A few more stops before heading back to Gabi’s 

Before heading back to Gabi’s for the evening, I stopped at Arteria, which seemed to be mostly a t-shirt shop, and was followed around every corner of the store. The two young folks working there did not greet me or ask if I needed anything, a young woman just followed me around as I looked at the merchandise — not a good feeling. But! I did find this bag to be super funny given I have a poem titled Viejo Verde in Close Your Eyes, Now Breathe. 

Costa Day 2_Viejo Verde

After Arteria, I stopped right next door, Cafe Miel, where I enjoyed a delicious chipotle patty. The shop is cozy and the staff is friendly.

What I didn’t get to

  • Museo Jade de Costa Rica
  • Shopping
    • I’ve decided that I won’t shop on this trip to save money and because I’m sola
    • There’s a fairly large market near Plaza Democratica where folks are dying to bargain so take them up on it!
  • Mercado Central
    • I’ll likely get there another day
Costa Day 2_Gabi roof
Here’s a shot from Gabi’s porch early this morning.

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