I was picked up from my hotel in San Jose late. I had had little chance of email contact with the Teaching and Projects Abroad desk officer, but I had let him know a week ago when I needed to be picked up and where, so at 11am, when the guy, Jorge, an assistant as far as I gathered, didnt turn up, it put me into a?frenzy! I had to be out by 12, where would I go? what would I do? I couldn?t call anyone, I couldn?t get hold of anyone. I was alone. I was afraid. Of course, it didn?t help that I woke up that morning still drunk from the tumultuous, but amazing, night before - feeling like Death. I hung over breakfast, downing rehydration sachets and bottles of water, swaying in my seat while trying to butter my toast. Twas no joy. I had to get up at that hour to do all of my packing that I had planned to do the night before, before unknown circumstances came up as mentioned in my previous blog entry.
I pranced out of the hotel, after the hotel receptionist told me there was a pharmacy close to the hotel which sold international phone cards. It is an acknowledged fact that calling abroad in this country is no joke, it costs a fortune! So I wobbled up, feeling very insecure, as though any second someone was going to push me over and steal all my worldy possessions, I gripped hold of my bag, and look at every glance by every passerby as suspicious. Finally, I made it to the pharmacy, and comforted myself with the fact that if I fainted in the pharmacy, I was right next to the hospital. I really felt like dying at that moment. I waited while people were served in some order unknown to be, or maybe the pharmacist felt discouraged by my palid face. Even the American, who needed some kind of expensive pills, got served before me - and I thought to myself, GOD! Just let me through, I only want a bloody phone card. Out of the crowd of scuttling pharmacist ladies, came this handsome stud. Why me? why today? Give me the old crone, I tell you! He found me a phonecard, but its funny, no one seems to know how many minutes the phonecards actually give you in this country. I attempted a joke at this - I say attempted as we all know the problems Joe Black had with Humour -?and he laughed, telling me to come back if I do indeed find out how much a 20$ international phonecard is worth in calling time. Of course, I never saw the boy again, and he will never know, although I do, that 20$ is about 35 minutes of calling time. Not very much, considering.
I got back to the room and phoned my mother hysterically: he hasnt come, Im in the middle of nowehere, theyve forgotten about me, what do I do? what do I do? The weeping child runs back to mummy. It is the sad truth. She calmed me down, and I requested an extended check out time. No problem, the man at the reception said. And shortly after this, I received a call from Luis, the Costa Rican TPA Director, learning that there had been some confusion about my arrival - although I think I made it quite clear. And that Jorge would be coming to pick me up within the hour. Relief.
I admit I was kind of hoping that Jorge would be some handsome 21 year old dark stranger, but married and a just made father did the job as well. Now I had heard that the house I was going to be taken to was nice, but wow, was that an understatement. The house was taken care of by a maid, yes, a maid, and it had a developed courtyard inside the house. I had a whole wing?of the house to myself, including a gym with TV. I was not disappointed I chose to stay the night. I recovered from my hangover while sitting hooked to the Warner Bros Channel, and listening to the battering rain outside.
Generally, I could say I have a lot of experience with rain, living in the UK and all. But rain as we know it is nothing compared to rain in a country with a rainforest. When it rains, it doesnt rain, it pisses it down steadily for a few hours, and then there will be sunshine for the next week. I personally like that kind of rain, as long as youre not in the middle of it!
It was such a relief to spend that night at Jorge?s!