24 August 2010

pura vida

after bopping about between jungle, mountains, and coast for ten days, it is something of a relief to end up somewhere where i have reliable internet access. i am back in san jose - a city charming in its colonial grandeur. we are staying in an 'old' neighborhood. there are leafy trees on the streets and a park full of animals just a few minutes' walk away. thunder, replaced by civilization, is a distant mountaintop dream.

being here in centroamerica has made me miss denmark far more than i did at home. it is the shift in extremes, i think. in california everything is normal to me. i don't particularly notice the way i am served - or not served but rather dispensed - a cup of tea in california. here, though, it arrives at my table effortlessly: a cup full of hot water accompanied by unopened teabag on a saucer, followed by a pitcher of milk in miniature. i fantasize, briefly, about soymilk. i ignore the sugar, focusing, instead, on the tablecloth. i let it steep. i drink.

i always had a hard time picking a spot in cafes in copenhagen. the cafes were always crowded and i, klutz that i am, felt awkward barging through the narrow rooms to seat myself. here, though, it is something of an ordeal just to find the cafes. i wish i drank coffee with more regularity. i so enjoy the hunt for the perfect place to sit down.

the beach was nice. it was surreal to lie steaming on the sand in the august heat, feeling like a baking clam (yet not getting any tanner). there were some good waves when the tide was 'right'. the jungle takes over; it claims the land from shore to shore. one day, i saw two monkeys. the fruit is cheap; i spend more money on water. the volcano at arenal impressed me with its profound exhalations; poas remained elusive in yet another storm.

so we have circled back. i have seen some things (and slept through others) and am listening closely in an effort to ingratiate myself in the face of daily life. my favorite word in spanish might be cotidiana - everyday. it has a ring to it. 'pura vida' i have heard now outside of the context of surf & beach. i am relieved that people use it outside of the tourist industry.


Anonymous said...

Maya, I LOVE your blog!

maya said...

thank you!