Written by Emily
This is blog documents the second day of our trip, or as i have renamed it 'honestly the most unbelievably unfortunate and ridiculous day of my sweet sweet life'.
The start of the day was fairly uneventful, involving just lazing around, searching in mouldering cupboards for breakfast and plates without dead bugs hanging around in them, and stalking down facebook accounts. The trouble began when we foolishly decided to go out to buy some food. I mean for God's sake, we should have known better. After both taking some dollars and our credit cards from our capitally cool 'money belts', we decided to leave the residual cash and s*** in a locker in our room, and purchased a padlock from reception. After this was secured, off we trundled for some hearty 'Auto Mercado' times.
Shockingly, we managed to buy quite the selection of food for a decent price, and paid without any confusion over the excahnge rates between dollars, colons and pounds *mainly because we used a debit card* but we were proud of this achievement.
Back the hostel, we spent a leisurely few hours eating and swinging around in a hamock, unaware that some serious s*** had gone down. This revelation came clear when i decided to put my left over cash and card back into the locker, and so fished the key out of my pocket and removed the padlock. I did at this point, notice that the metal hook on the locker door had come loose and had been twisted round, but in my 'nothing will happen to me, for i am in Costa Rica!' mind set, thought nothing of it. One progressively more and more frantic search late, an i was informing Rachel that my sexy money belt was not at all where i had left it. Understandably assuming it was my own idiocy that meant i couldn't find my stuff, Rach began to seach through the locker and our bags, until she came out with the deeply concerning sentence 's***! Where the hell is my money belt?! It had my passport in it!' Rachel too had left hers in the safe, and so slowly, my jet-lagged mind put two and two together. I think the guy at reception must have done something spectacularly bad in a past-life to have had to deal with this situation and Rachel's mild hysteria, but the police we contacted, the locker examined and then he did some explaining.
What had happened was a new member of staff had been in reception, and despite the fact that all guests have to have their passport checked by receptionist staff, she had fallen victim to a seasoned criminal's master plan-a woman checking in, pretending she had left her passport in the car. She was let in by this bemused new employee, and must have simply used her life-of-crime strength to twist open our locker, and also grab herself a nice money pouch from the bed of a german woman also sleeping in our room.
Some minutes after this bombshell, Rach and i found ourselves in one of the highly questionable San Jose taxis, speeding on down to the police station. It took all my mental prowess to will the discarded bits of GCSE spanish out from the cobwebbed, festering corners of my brain, but eventually asked our way round to the correct department, and were then told that we would have to wait another half hour for the translator to arrive. We whiled away this time ragin' to ourselves, and watching snippets of an obscure spanish sit com about cowboys and retirement homes on the Tv in the waiting room. Eventually though, we were called over.
The combination of our intense annoyance, Rachel's hurried explanations and the ompah- loompa orange translator-officer's hearty failure to understand English and just general, overall simpleton demenour, meant it was a heinously long time before we had our reports written up. Both parties we exteremely frustrated. My fave bit of dialogue occured thus-
Officer-'So, you know the suspect, What they lke?'
Rach-'No we don't know her, but if you ring the hostel at this number they'll know all the details' *hands over hostel business card*
Officer- *taking business card* 'Ok.' *Puts card to one side and continues to tap away at keyboard*
Me- 'Well you're not gonna get through to them on there....'
Officer-'So what is the suspect look like?'
Rach-'We don't know, that's why we suggested you ring the hostel 'cause they'll know.'
Officer-'ok' *continues to tap at keyboard*
*Conversation continues this way for a while*
Officer- 'Ok, so you can write name on here' *hands us each half a ripped sheet of paper*
Rach-'Is this an official form?!'
Officer-'O, give me a break!'
Finally, just as he had hit the magical print button to print our reports, he proceeded to rummage around in a drawer under his desk and produced, not an official form or anything like that, but a bag of hard candy, which he handed out to us. To this i commented ' What is this? Willy Wonka's robbery investigation?'
Once back at the hostel, i thought it might be a plan to put all my valubles in my bag and padlock it shut. After doing this, i realised there were a few dollars left out, and so i attempted to open the padlock to slip them in. For absolutely no reaon whatsoever, the padlock refused to open, and after many a struggle, had to be lopped off with a huge pair of plyers by the poor, poor reception guy. Bless his Costa Rican heart.
So yeah, we still need to go to the embassy to get Rachel an emergancy passport. We tried today, but alas, were informed that it is closed on saturdays. GOOD TIMES.