Sorry, no photos on this post. Our internet is being special.
This weekend Michelle and I went on some shopping adventures. On Saturday, we headed down to Tres Rios (our local town) to do some grocery shopping at the farmer’s market. Next time I go down I will try to accept my gringa status a little more and just take some photos. Produce seems to be the only thing that is cheap around here, but almost everything is ridiculously cheap at the farmers market. Two pineapples for a dollar anyone? I might have gone a little overboard and bought way to much, but I had an entire giant reusable shopping bag filled with produce and spent about $20.
The people are all very nice. There were some things that we didn’t recognize so they would explain how we can prepare and eat it. I picked up some guanábana which is this super juicy and very fibrous fruit you can drink as juice, mix with milk for smoothies, or just eat it. I’ve been going the “just eat it route” because I find it a filling and sweet snack.
I also bought a pupusa from this woman from El Salvador. They are amazing! They’re two thick tortillas filled with pork, cheese, beans, and onions. She then grills them in fatty goodness and tops them with a cabbage and chilli slaw. Yum yum yum! Since they’re so filling, I ate half there for lunch and took the other half home for part of my dinner… $2 well spent!
As we were walking out, we stopping to get one more thing. The woman standing next to us turned and started talking to me, but I couldn’t understand what she was saying. (Usually I can get the main idea.) After Michelle asked her to repeat herself, we realized she was asking me a question: “Are your boobs plastic?” “No son plasticos,” Michelle responded, and the woman just sort of shrugged. The poor vendor seemed super uncomfortable though! We laughed about it all the way home.
Before heading home though we stopped at Mas X Menos (a supermarket) for odds and ends. You have to be careful when shopping because everything is so expensive. Cheese is a treat, candy is something you can’t afford, and forget about any meat besides dark meat chicken. I don’t know how Ticos do it.
Sunday we traveled the hour by bus to San Jose. I’ve been in and out of the city a couple times, but never had the opportunity to walk around. We went to their “artisan fair” which is basically an area with booths selling typical souvenir items. I met a guy who made me a ring and told me it’s “probably the only free thing you’ll get in Costa Rica.” If you look really hard you can see it’s my “pura vida” ring with a P V and a happy face.
I then had a guy at a pasteleria laugh at my Spanish, but I didn’t care because I still got my ice cream! (Ice cream is a treat here.) We also tried half of a doughnut, but only half because it was not good and had a hairspray aftertaste. Clearly it will be a long long time before I have a doughnut again.
Finally, we went on a long adventure to visit a friend who lives by El Estadio Nacional. The stadium is adjacent to a huge park that was packed with people on Sunday. Our walk around it reminded me a lot of walking through the Rose Bowl on a weekend: people playing soccer, baseball, and lacrosse, many runners, bikers, and skaters, and lots of families hanging out and enjoying the day. There was even a pony ride set up!
Overall it was a productive weekend. Now we’re gearing up for our three day hike/homestay adventure this weekend!