I've been here almost eight hours now... so a few observations. My hotel (for four nights) gets E!, Fox and CNN in English. Oh and whatever channel airs "The Simpsons"? It's true... SmartCarts at the airport are free, as long as you're not in the USA. There IS a breeze at night that is chilly, enough for a light sweater or jacket.
At a social/slightly business BBQ/party tonight, I said hello to major jealousy. I've no doubt it's the same way around the world, but man... the American-connected international community makes you (me) say to yourself (myself), "D'oh! You idiot! You speak only one language?! Sheesh."
Does it surprise you, however, to find out that I made a tentative friend tonight? I have to say, I arrived at the party and after three minutes said to myself, "No listening to your feelings, Em. Just talk and be nice and who cares if you end up being stupid, or standing awkwardly in the corner, or if everyone speaks Spanish and you're deaf and dumb." Between Guitar Hero, the futbol game on TV and a very casual, delicious buffett/bbq table, it was fine. Fun, even. So, a native Costa Rican who grew up in Miami and who has lived in Istanbul, London and Paris, who is married (and her British husband doesn't speak Spanish, like me!) was incredibly nice and interesting and outgoing and we plan to hang out sometime. Um, basically... yahoo!
I haven't plunged into speaking any Spanish yet, but was proud to answer the gentleman who helped me with my bag off the plane, when he said, "Solamente uno?" and I said, "Si." No, no, I know... seriously impressive. I even remembered to add, "Gracias."
The Costa Ricans, the Ticos, give one kiss in greeting and goodbye. There is a Pizza Hut, McDonald's and a freakin' TGIFridays here! Ack! The air is tropical and humid, the dry season flowers are still impressive. Today we freed a hummingbird who flew into the house. I have yet to experience the drivers, since on Sundays it's so mellow. The airport was manageable and not intimidating at all (unlike in Paris!) and the actual job begins tomorrow. The planes were light - I had a row to myself on both legs, and was able to sleep, making the red eye much less crushing.
This is a rather unfocused update, but I'm sort of scattered at the moment. More coherent, carefully constructed blogs will come. But for now, I wish you were here. I think I found the SAG Awards on TV, so I'm gonna fall asleep to that tonight (one channel has them in English, one dubbed in Spanish. Which to choose?).