n. infantile pattern of suckle-swallow movement in which the tongue is placed between incisor teeth or between alveolar ridges during initial stage of swallowing (if persistent can lead to various dental abnormalities) v. [content removed due to Bush campaign to clean up the internet] n. act of nyah-nyah v. pursuing with relentless abandon the need to masticate and thrust the world into every bodily incarnation in order to transform it, via the act of salivation, into nutritive agency

Monday, December 19, 2011

I should be renting a bike and going to the beach but...

...it`s another tropical downpour. Jeesh, it`s friggin` crazy here! The people dont know what to think because normally the rain slows down and stops at the beginning of December, but everything is still flooding. Last night I woke several times to the sounds of absolute fury of water on aluminum roofs nearby and around town.

So, let me start from the hostel that I`m staying in, which I described in brief last entry. I`ve done alot of my normal wandering around, looking at houses, figuring out the layout of the streets, the animals around, and so forth. There is the main part of town, which follows a strip of paved road for about a mile... with stores and resturants, mostly tourist offices, along this drag, and people always standing or sitting around in clusters, drinking beer or hawking wares, or gossiping I guess. The sentiment on this strip is, or feels, a little hostile (or agressive) towards tourists, but once you get off the strip, this changes completely. It`s rather strange. Off the main town strip, there is one main road that runs along the waterfront, down past a small ferry pier, the middle-cost hotels, bars and seafood restaurants. Along this road, the teenagers and youngsters in love gather and hangout, rev their motorcycles, play music from their cars and look out across the gulf.

Last night was a huge national soccer competition... I guess the equivalent of the superbowl for Costa Rica, and everybody went hog wild at about 7pm, after the game ended in penalty shots. Boys and girls were gathered in trucks, riding around on bicycles, waving flags, pounding drums, and singing Ole Ole Ole! In fact, this make-shift parade made two circuits around the town, with everyone in the resturant I was eating in rushing out to join them whenever the passed by. An interesting contrast to the morning, which was utterly quiet and shut-down for the morning services.

I finally met some people here - two different sets actually. The first night I was here, I wandered around and wandered into a friendly looking resturant to ask about the advertised tours. The guy sat down and talked with me about it, but when he saw my camera, he got excited and offered to give me free tours in exchange for photos he could put up on his webpage. Every day he wanted! I agreed to try one day with Kenny, and see how it went. Just to secure the time, I went back to his bar at night and he treated to a beer, and talked and talked and talked. About the third time he tooted his own horn, talking about how just the other day he bought a headstone for the father of some poor friends of his, who he told -Money doesn`t matter, and you should hold your heads up with or without moeny.- I started to wonder if his offer of photo for tour exchange was on the up and up, or whether he was just hitting on me.

Leave it to me to be hit on by the only man in this town who has an ass at least three times the size of my own. Oops, that was uncharitable.

Anyhow, I was skeptical but thought I would give it a shot. I didnt feel threatened, so no worries. So, my first full day here, I wandered over to his place after running some chores in the morning (gathering a huge bottle of water for my hostel room, and getting a sheet to use in place of a sleeping bag, which seems overly heavy). After waiting impatiently for a couple of hours... well, patiently for awhile, because I wandered around the beach, into the mangroves, dipping my toes in the water, and visited a crocodile trail where you can whistle and a bunch of baby crocodiles and small caimen rush up to see if you`re going to feed them... finally we were off.

And in a crappy old jeep with the muffler tied on with wire... I could hear it clanging the whole way. The roads out here, off the one mile paved stretch, are spotted with lagoons, lakes, small creeks, rushing rivers, and in a couple of places actual oceans. At times, the jeep disappears halfway into the standing water, and at least in three places, we had to drive through rivers. Full rivers. It was intense, and I wondered for a bit if my back was up for it, but then put the thought out of my mind and clung to the side of the jeep.

We stopped to look at one beach, and then went to a second in a place called Matapalo, which is named after a type of ficus tree that wraps around other trees, particularly palms, and slowly kills them and usurps their position and no doubt nutrients. It was a sandy beach with significantly large rollers. They took me there to take pictures of the guy they are setting up to teach surfing lessons, and overall there were about six or seven surfers, quite good surfers, in the waves, and so I spend a good hour taking photos and enjoying their skill.

Kenny then offered to go with me on a walk down the beach... along the way we saw, at first, spider monkeys fighting with white-faced monkeys (along the way in we saw squirrel monkeys), and then... to my amazement, a sloth (two claws), which I`ve never seen before. They are absoultely the strangest, cutest, wisest smiling-faced creatures I`ve ever seen! This one was about two feet off the ground when we saw it, and climbing a tree. Kenny said it`s rare to catch them this far down, but they do come down to go to the bathroom, then go to another tree. I could have touched this guy. And yes, he slowly slowly slowly, one leg at a time, went up the tree, smiling at the leaves above, nay grinning at the leaves above with this divinely meditative smugness.

So, a good trip. When we got back, Kenny bought me a beer and returned to the topic of love and relationships, finally asking me about my boyfriend. When I told him that I rarely date, but when I do, it`s women, he looked irritated, is the best way to put it. He told me that`s pretty normal in Costa Rica, but had, within a half hour shuffled me off and equivacated about going on a trip the next day. When I asked him to let me know one way or another so I could make other plans, he said -Let`s take a break. And when I went by today, he definately wanted to locate a card reader for the photos I had taken, but didnt seem even slightly interested in going on another photography trip... kind of part of my impression of him. He seems to hatch a lot of plans, and I`d be surprised if more than ten percent of them actually happen. But I had one free trip!

Okay... it`s stopped raining. I`ll write about my German and Swiss friends-for-a-day later.
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