Today - after the a.m. from HELL dealing with Racsa, Amnet (trying to get out of their auto-pay system [more on that in another post]), HORRIFIC traffic and the WORST taxi driver I've EVER been with and being in San Jose - all of which reminded me of why I DESPISE IMMENSELY going to San Jose and do it only about once ever 2 or so months and why I will NOT drive in this country), I got back in my wonderful little community of ESCAZU (San Rafael de)!
I stopped in at Banco Cuscatlan which feels like Cheers to me when I enter - where I'm always greeted with hugs and holas by most of the staff that remember my name! Then I walked to McDonald's (I felt I deserved a hot caramel sundae after my day and not eating out much these days!) I ran into someone I knew and had a nice DEEP conversation, plus hugs and a BIG "HOLA Vicki" from a supervisor who I've met from another friend! Then I walked home about 10 blocks - saying/waving hola to the gang at the wonderful and cheap Vegetarian restaurant by the Shell Station (that also delivers), the gas pump guys at Shell, Olga the wonderful English speaking pharmacist at Chavaria (who delivers even simple cold medicine to me when I'm feeling punk and for NO delivery charge), a cop, various guards I wave to/say hola to regularly, people in stores, etc. By the time I got home - that day from hell ended up being a BEAUTIFUL DAY - even with a little drizzling!!!
ALL of these people I dealt with were Tico's - NOT the gringos so often associated with Escazu (my initial perception).
MOST people around here speak at least some English and they LOVE practicing it with me and have fun with me and my REALLY limited Spanglish but we don't care if the other speaks the others tongue well or not - we're able to communicate overall pretty ok with simple/slow words, hand gestures, smiles and LOTS of intuition!
Heck, after moving to CR over 2 years ago I SWORE I wouldn't live in this gringo land (aka "The Beverly Hills of CR") but boy was I sure wrong!!
Within 15 blocks either direction of me I have over 50 restaurants (MOST of the time I find it 95% Ticos/Latins and 5% or less gringos when I dine out in this area) - many quite good (not such an easy thing to find by MY taste), LOTS of shops, 3 large markets, HiperMas, doctors, dentists and an EASY taxi ride to EPA (the Home Depot of CR), MultiPlaza (a BIG mall) and CIMA hospital (U.S.-owned) (speaking of medical things - I LOVE knowing the drivers of Emergencias Medicas Ambulance service [EmergenciasMedicas.net / Olga at 372-4428 speaks decent English] - know where I am in case of an emergency [albeit a bit hidden] - WELL worth the under $20/month investment). and depending on traffic, the Pista/highway (which in time will go out to the Pacific Coast) can be just 3 minutes away to take me to explore other places around CR!!!
The side street next to my place (off THE main street - Calle Vieja) is FULL of Tico's and others - mainly from Latin America! VERY few gringos!
Right outside my grounds I have THE buses that go to/from San Jose and Santa Ana West for about 40¢ and LOTS and LOTS of Taxis (what I do more) so no need to have the stress and money of owning a car (see my post on "DO YOU WANT EASE IN YOUR LIFE? TAKING TAXI’S VS. OWNING / DRIVING A CAR IN COSTA RICA").
Then you have overall good quality of the various services that are important to me like GOOD high speed internet, phone service and electricity and services that don't seem to go out as much as in places many others I know live! (there are LOTS of embassies/ambassador homes in this area hence I don't think they want to tick these people off and/or leave them more vulnerable!)
And then there's my place, set back 100 meters from this main road - in the middle of the concrete jungle - nearly 2 acres of a LUSH tranquil oasis and I hear there are many other special slices of "heaven" hidden throughout this area (you just have to have a GREAT realtor to help you find it like I did with Daniel Langlois with Zucaes Realty - Zucaes.com)!
I have yet to find a more CONVENIENT, easier, SAFE place than this area I live in - Escazu (I feel VERY SAFE here and have been known to walk to Mas x Menos 7 blocks away at 8:30pm and I usually walk home from Centro Escazu [it's downhill!!]).
Goddess - how I LOVE Living in ESCAZU!!!
(aka "THE Sarong Goddess")