1. i really miss eating every meal outside. hardly anything is completely closed in. thinking back over them all in my mind, i’m pretty sure none of the restaurants we went to had walls. most had just a big roof and a bunch of tables underneath it.
one had swings instead of chairs.
by the way, fish tacos are amazing.
2. walking. i like driving, but i love walking. i can’t look at things when i’m driving, or stop and talk to strangers(though in america that’s probably a good thing; costa rican strangers are much safer and nicer). in my car, i’m in my own little world with my music and my thoughts and the road in front of me. out walking, i get to notice everything around me.
3. food. do they make plantain chips or lemon flavored doritos here? and what’s with all the high fructose corn syrup? central american soda is like liquid heaven. it’s made with REAL LIVE SUGAR.
at our hotel, there was a big lime tree in our backyard. i’d go out every morning, pick one and squeeze all the juice into my nalgene. if i want lime water here, i have to buy the juice and keep it in the fridge. and i know it says “100% lime juice” on the label, but i still say it doesn’t taste the same poured out of a bottle as it does straight from the tree.
and oh my goodness CHICKEN. if you’ve never eaten a chicken that was alive an hour before it was put on the table, you’ve never tasted good chicken. kfc wouldn’t have to use 11 herbs and spices if they just shot their chickens themselves and served them up fresh.
4. kids and dogs. both are everywhere and they’re always wanting to play. when american kids see strangers who look really different, they run away and hide, but costa rican kids will run up and hug you.
5. how happy everybody is. you give a little bag of beans to a five year old in costa rica to share with their family, they’ll jump and squeal and thank you and give you hugs for five straight minutes. you give a piece of candy to a five year old in america to have all for themselves, they say “is that all you’ve got?”
a poor woman in costa rica with almost nothing will share what little she has with all the children in her village because their parents are at work and can’t feed them lunch during the day, and praise God that she’s able to help them. poor people in america spend what they’ve got on drugs, then complain that they have no food.
everywhere you go down there, people are smiling. even the ones who have absolutely nothing are happy just for you to say hello to them.