It has officially been a month since I took a warm shower; I never thought I would be grateful for the fact that I live in a house that only has cold water. While my body has somewhat adjusted to the intense combination of heat and humidity of Costa Rica, it is still my favorite part of the day when I get to take a break from the heat. It seems like the theme of my life here so far has worked this way; for the past month it has felt like I have encountered something that takes time to get used to but it is always accompanied by something that provides a relief. Take for example the way most women get cat called in Costa Rica. The common cat call that comes from a Tico man includes some sort of “Hola mami”, and or just hissing in any and every girl’s general direction. At first this constant cat calling felt like it was too much to handle; in fact I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it but after living here a month I’ve come to realize that this hissing sound is a general noise that all Costa Ricans use to get each other’s attention.
Although there is only minimal relief in knowing that Costa Rican men do this to all women because they consider it complimentary; the real relief has come in getting to know the cousins and nephews in my host family who do not act this way. There were times in the past month where just walking outside was depressing and a little nerve wracking due to the idea that no matter what I wear or look like, someone is going to mutter something to me on the street thinking I don’t understand what he is saying. However, I’ve recently learned not to take it so seriously. I hate to admit that, but it was only when a large man wearing a baby pink shirt that said “Real pink wear Chuck Norris” was when I had a moment similar to stepping into an ice cold shower during the hottest part of the day. Despite their habit of constantly and openly commenting on women’s bodies, I realized men like this are almost never going to act on their words – I have even scared a few just by acknowledging their existence. But all this is just a minute detail of my life here so far.
The past couple days have been a country-wide celebration of the Costa Rican independence day which is September 15th. I feel like I have been traveling nonstop and have heard and seen more desfiles (parades) than I ever thought possible in one weekend.
I was invited to go with my host parents to their other house across the bay from Puntarenas to the small town where my host mom grew up called Paquera.
Life in Costa Rica is slow, and but life in Paquera moves at an entirely different pace. Paquera is a paradox, the whole pueblo is very quiet but just the noises coming from the surrounding jungle and wildlife can be deafening – in a good way!
Also my family and I were able to pass a whole day doing relatively nothing but relaxing in rocking chairs on our porch yet once 10 p.m. rolled around it was time to go dancing and starting celebrating independence day at the fastest pace possible. Overall it has not felt like I have been here a month and I’m shocked that I technically only have two months left in Costa Rica. Today my host mom and I discussed that when I leave in December their summer season will just be starting. It’s cheesy but I now know how the saying “time flies when you’re having fun” came about.