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Do they serve orange chicken on Air China?

COSTA RICA | Thursday, 25 December 2008 | Views [641]

Well Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah.  It's Christmas in Hong Kong...I think.  In the last four days I've been in Costa Rica (80 degrees), Minneapolis (-15 degrees), Los Angeles (raining), and now Hong Kong.  My body hates me and if you think I have any idea what day it is, you've gotta be nuts.  That said, I'll try to make this entry coherent because I'm absolutely beat.

I think the last time I wrote I had just gotten out of the jungle in Colombia.  I was sore, bitten, dirty - sound familiar?  Anywho, from there I bused it out to Cartagena, a large city along Colombia's Caribbbean coast known for its stunning old architecture and prostitutes.  Sadly, I wasn't there long enough to witness too much of either, as on a whim, I hopped on a sailboat 14 hours after I arrived bound for the Bocas Islands near the Panamanian / Costa Rican border.  That meant that I'd essentially be missing the whole of Panama aside from the islands, but that I'd get the chance to spend 6 days on a sailboat along the Caribbean Sea eating fresh fish while Luna, the ship's dog, laid on my feet rubbing her 10 nipples on my toes.  Weird.

The boat was comprised of five of us: me, Samantha from Boston, a Swiss girl and her Colombian boyfriend, Cap'n Dan of Peru, and of course, Luna.  Cap'n Dan liked to get stoned, which of course I found out once we were already out at sea.  Luckily for me, this ended up being a rather entertaining habit of his as the judgement impairment made for some pretty good laughs...

Like when he jumped ship in the middle of the ocean because he saw a floating plastic barrel he just had to have...and how the boat kept going as he was floundering about in the middle of the ocean.  (BECAUSE WHO THINKS THAT JUMPING INTO THE MIDDLE OF THE OCEAN IS A GOOD IDEA?!?)

Another good one was when we got to his cabiny-shack on one of the islands and after a couple of glasses of wine, he decided to take us searching for crocodiles.  Yes, the ones that will drag you to the bottom of a swamp and kill you.  Did I mention that our sealegs already made us feel drunk before the three glasses of wine.  And that it was dark and we were literally sliding down the mud?  When Dan fell into a swamp I would normally had thought it the funniest thing I'd ever seen had I not been nervous that I was about to meet my death falling in myself.

So that was my sailboat ride and Cap'n Dan.

Anywho, after some beautiful beaches and two wild nights in Bocas with Samantha, I was left with only a week to go so reluctantly made my way north to Costa Rica.

Then began the worst 24 hours of my trip to date.

It all started with making an itinerary for the week ahead, something that I never do.  Not feeling quite at ease about it, I ended up bagging my whole plan once I crossed the border and headed to a totally different city instead.  Doing so, however, meant I hadn't done my research, not to mention had no place to stay.  Usually this was no big deal, but this night it did as the first thing that happened was that this usually very on-the-ball girl got scammed.  Welcome to San Jose. 


Arriving to my hostel pissed as I realized what had conspired, it didn't take long before I discovered that the hostel was overcharging me.  Esentially, the woman told me she was giving me the cheapest room but within an hour of checking in I heard her give two others rooms for less.  Lovely, wasn't that just icing on the cake.  In no mood for shenanigans, I decided to call her out on it and maybe try to get a few bucks back. 

This is what the conversation sounded like:

Me: Excuse me, but you told me you were giving me the cheapest room at $x, but you just gave the woman a room for half the price.

Hostel Worker: You have a bigger bed.

Me: I didn't ask for a big bed, I asked for the cheapest room.

Hostel Woker: I already have your money. (Shrugs and turns away).

Had my Spanish been better, I would have argued but really couldn't.  Did I mention I had to sit sideways on my toilet because the shower was so close my itty-bitty legs wouldn't even fit?!?

Fuming, I started doing some work online.  I wasn't tired and had much to do to plan for Asia, and seven hours later was still working.  I figured that if I stayed up all night getting work done, I could just sleep on my five hour bus ride to Monteverde the following day.

Wrong.

As I boarded my 7am bus, I was surprised to see that the bus was already full.  Five hour bus ride, no sleep, and it was standing room only.  The kicker about it too was that I would have had a seat had I not listened to someone who told me I couldn't catch the bus in the city center and had to get it in this very out-of-the-way location which ended me up at the hell-hostel to begin with. Sometimes, a girl just cant get a break.  Luckily I did manage to get a seat about three hours into it, just before we stopped for lunch.  Quickly grabbing this dish of shredded chicken in a red sauce with eggs, I hopped back onto the bus just to have the sauce spill all over me.  Now, ask me what sauce with shredded chicken looks like on your clothes, because I'm going to answer that it looks like vomit.  Within 18 hours, I'd been scammed, hadn't slept, looked like I'd been ralphed on, and to top it all off, my apples rolled away.  Now it takes a lot to make me unhappy, but this was seriously testing me.

The good news is, nothing could've possibly have gone more wrong so it only went up from there. 

Arriving in Monteverde, I ended up befriending two Aussies, four Americans on holiday from work, and a Brit I ended up spending the next week with. An incredible group, so despite really not liking Costa Rica much at all (it was all Papa Johns, TCBY, Office Depot, Dennys, gringos, gringos, gringos, and people trying to entertain the gringos), we had a pretty fantastic time canopy swinging in between the trees, hitting up the beach, and causing as much trouble as only a group of eight internationals can.

On Sunday, Dec. 21st I left to spend a day with my parents and brother in Minneapolis, and after another day in LA with my grandmother, I am finally in Hong Kong for the next five days.  No they did not serve orange chicken on the plane (although I did get dim sum on the plane for breakfast), and its western shopping here EVERYWHERE.  I did, however accidentally reply with a "si" to the immigration official in the airport and definitely miss Latin America already.  Luckily, I've made a friend from Spain so am still screwing up my Spanish talking with him, but am rather enjoying that.

Now it's time for bed though, or a nap anyway.  So take care, Happy New Year, and write :)

Much love.

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