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Day 2 San Jose

Written on: Wednesday July 25th, 2007

A journal entry from: Central America Road Trip 2007

Got up fairly early and headed over to the Central Mercado a block away for a cheap but filling and tasty tico breakfast. The deskclerk, who IŽd been joking around with jokingly asked if I could bring him back una cafe. What the heck, it comes with the meal and I donŽt drink it anyway so I said ciertamente. After breakfast, I took care of some business - got my tickets for that night, changed some more money since I had changed only a little at the airport and went back to the clubhouse to meet up with some guys who had expressed interest in meeting me and taking a tour. They were no shows so I went off on my own to check out some different barrios that I hadnŽt explored before. One of these was around the Tica Bus Terminal. I figured I should find out what sort of area IŽd be going to at 3 in the morning. It was actually kind of interesting during the day it was sort of a local center for leathercrafters with a whole string of zapaterias, saddle shops and bootmakers along avenida 3. I headed over 2 blocks to Paseo Colon coming out at the Torres Mercedes and I noticed Lubnan, a Lebanese restaurant that IŽd always heard good things about. By that point it was close to lunch so I thought IŽd give them a try. It was alright but not cheap and really did not seem that special to me. However, the serving was pretty filling and what with the heat(no rain today) and all the walking I thought IŽd stop back at my hotel for my afternoon siesta. However, I put the time to good use. My spanish (to the extent I needed it so far) had held up reasonably well, but I needed some more brushup, so I spent a couple of hours reviewing some spanish lessonbooks I had brought with me.

Around 4:30, I was ready to head out again and try to meet up with a buddy of mine from Winterhaven, BuzzFL, who said heŽd be looking for me for happy hour. He got there a few minutes later and introduced me to a buddy of his also from Florida. I already forgot his name but I just called him HotRod since he was wearing a NHRA t-shirt. I buy them a round of drinks, since Buzz is often treating me back home. I decide to walk around to the other side of the bar and there was my old pal VegasBob holding court. He was waiting for some other friends of mine LVSteve and Bill (aka Easy) plus a couple of his gambling buddies who I had not met and they were going to go to El Bakea, another place I'd been meaning to try, so I invited myself along. Bob thinks this place is one of the best restaurants in the world. I found it rather disappointing. I had roast chicken with tamarind sauce. The chicken was very dry and would have been hard to eat if not for the tamarind sauce which was very good. The place had a nice presentation and ambiance, but I thought my chicken the night before was much better with twice the portion size and half the price.

But the company was quite good, swapping jokes and interesting tales. One of the gambling guys, Bob I think, was a Forensic Psychologist and had either been consulted, commented on or testified in several national cases including the OJ case and Elian Gonzales. The other gambling guy was, according to Bob, 80 years old though he didnŽt look much older than his mid-sixties. He had been married 6 times and has hoodwinked by his 6th wife who it turned out had just married him with the idea of driving him to divorce her and leave her a large settlement. She was a real piece of work. Right after they married she claimed to have developed Fibro Myalgia or Krones disease or something or other and so couldn't be touched. She also had bad gambling and drinking problems. This guy claimed the only time he ever was able to have sex with her was when she was falling down drunk, okay, whatever. Finally, things came to a head, he had enough and asked her for a divorce. It was only then that he learned what she was up to all along from a mutual friend and that she was going for half his assets. The kicker was because she failed to have sex with him even once (or at least could never remember having sex) his lawyer told hers that she would get nothing because the marriage had never been consummated and not knowing any differently, she wound up walking away with nothing. Weird tale. Between him and the other 4 guys at the table they had been married 16 times. And people wonder why I've never married.

After dinner we walked back to the bar and had a drink or 2. I had to be at the bus terminal by 2:15 and originally I was going to hang out and head directly there, but for only $10 I had decided to pay for an extra night so I could have a place to stow my bag and maybe grab 3-4 hours off sleep before I took off.

Cost for the day $64, mainly because of $18 for a bus ticket and a couple of relatively pricey meals.