Readers note: this entry contains adult situations and partial nudity. If you are sensitive or judgemental than do not read this post, just move on and do something else.
This past weekend the I went to Santa Cruz to visit my families parents/grandparents. The school was having no classes on Monday and they wanted to take me to the beach and to see some different parts of Costa Rica. There was no ziplining or climbing volcanoes and yet it turned into a really interesting weekend.
On saturday morning we all woke up extremely early, well early for a saturday, normally the family wakes up around 11 on weekends. So at 9 we were off in a taxi to pick up the families car and then head to the grandparents house. It was basically a hellish morning of tons of driving. After the ride down to our car which took about an hour and a half, i was put to the task of loading the car. Somehow i end up being the errand boy for the family, i bring in groceries, pack cars, i move furniture in their restaurant and am always in charge of the main gate leading into the house. Not sure how i became king of all these odd jobs but its a pretty basic expectation for the family now.
The car of course was not fixed. The windows didnt work and after about 5 minutes of sitting in the blistering heat it was obvious that tha ac was not working either so we did what all kids want to do when they are expecting a two hour trip to the beach, we went to a repair shop and sat there for an hour waiting for all the stuff to get fixed. The kids were to put it mildly pissed. Not even the classic 80's videos on the tv could cheer them up, i mean freddy mercury at his glory or tears for fears, how can you be angry during tears for fears i think thats the opposite of what they are all about.
Eventually we do get to our location, the grandparents house in Santa Cruz. After i unloaded the car the and got the prerequisite your tall jokes in spanish they decided that the dad and i should head off to the grocery store and make sure we have everything for the beach tomorrow. Im not going to lie, foreign junkfood products have been one of the highlights of my trip. Junk food in general is one of my favorite things not so much because i love and need to it all the time, though i do, but i like how silly and creative people can be. There are some beyond good junk food products down here as well, im a big fan of the entire bimbo line from cakes to fruit filled cookies and have become a recent convert to jalapeno nacho chips and lime flavored nacho chips(heavy lime).
After the stop at the grocery store the dad decided i should see more of the town which implied a quick drive and then straight to a seedy chinese food restaurant where we could drink heavily. Honestly i havent had much to drink my entire trip and the family thinks im a wimp because im never up for slamming down the mid day beer(they honestly have brought beer home on several occasions and when i say i prefer pepsi they give me dirty looks). After a beer and some chat our table started filling with the regulars. These guys are what seedy bars are all about. They drink early in the morning buying bottles of liquor and then putting them half finished in the fridge and then head back at night to finish the bottle.
Since i was the new guy everyone wanted to hear all about me, but really they just wanted to all buy me a drink. This is the type of bar where when you are half finished with your beer you have another one on the table waiting for and everyone gives you dirty looks and calls you a wimp because you havent finished the previous one yet. Now ill tell you one thing though, if you want a true test of your spanish speaking abilities sit in a bar with drunk elderly and middle aged men. They talk all sorts of crazy crap and then laugh their asses off and you just have to hope they arent talking about you.
I was a big fan of the grandfather though, he just sits there real quiet and drinks slowly. He is totally relaxed and laughs subtly but its like hes got this whole thing figured out and he lets the yahoos act crazy and just enjoys the show. Though at one point he tried to ask why i wasnt a big drinker because he had only seen me have one beer, when he was informed of how many i had actually had to that point he was impressed and i think i won his respect with that.
At some point in the bar we got a call from my costa rican mom and she wanted to talk to me. Apparently someone i had never met wanted to know if i wanted to head to a different bar at a beach 45 minutes away. So i was pretty confused and had to admit i had no idea what she was talking about. This has begun to drive her nuts because generally when i dont know what someone is talking about i just fake like i do until things pass. I just nod and say "si" and hope that i can figure everything out. She figured otu my strategy first though and it began to really bug her, so now everyone time i say si she laughs and tells me and everyone around that i dont understand, although its true a good portion of the time it still hurts.
Eventually though we get back to the house and i figure out everything that is happening. There are some cousins, college aged kids and they want me to go out with them. Its a nice offer but im already pretty drunk and really tired at this point so i decline, which turns into a whole family debate. Literally everyone in the family from the grandmother(she thought i should go home and sleep god bless her), the drunk guys(i should keep drinking with them), the mom( i should go have fun but not talk to skanky girls) and the kids(i should go, im already drunk so why not). Eventually peer pressure and lack of personal decision making ability won out and i was off to a beach bar.
This ended up being a 30th birthday party for some random chick. She rented out the bar and for about 4 bucks there was open bar. For some reason only tequila rum and vodka were free. I slowed my personal night down and just taught everyone how to do the wave the sprinkler and the kid and play dance. How is it that more people arent familiar with the kid and play dance its a travesty.
Then at one point one of the cousins had her purse stolen with cell phone money and ids inside. She figured out who probably stole it and when she questioned them they had a perfect alibi, they knew who stole it...and started pointing directly at me. Now this was the worst attempt ever i had been hanging out with their group for the whole night and if they had been doing any scouting at all like a good thief should then they should have known this. It turned into a pretty interesting night. Though as i am telling this i wonder if its one of those stories that is much more interesting when you are there, which i am sure it is.
The next day at the beach was pretty typical for me. I ended the day with a ridiculous sun burn that highlights the handprints where i wasnt able to reach the rest of my back and then a las vegas bright red back. This i have to blame all on the family who wanted me to go take a walk on the beach not matter how hard i told them i really didnt want to. They literally had to all yell at me to go walk on the beach and enjoy the view. I mean i get it , ive been to beaches before you walk theres sand and an ocean but if your solo its really not all its cracked up to be, youre supposed to walk on the beach with someone and going by yourself while the sun scolds you is not what people mean when they write it in their personal ads. The other amusing moment for me at the beach was that at one point the grandmother went into the water and when she came out her bosom was completely exposed. She had a blouse on so their was no viewing but it was obvious. The funniest part about all this is that the bosom was out for a solid half hour, i mean at some point you have to realize it right. Ladies help me out if you have a bosom exposed you can feel that right. And what kind of family doesnt tell you that you are showing the whole world a boob? if i had boobs i would definitely want someone to give me a heads up if it was out.
Im going to end on that note just because i dont think i can say more. I spent the next day in utter pain and though we got to go to mcdonalds where i got to share my many entertaining mcdonalds anecdotes theres not much more to tell. Overall i got to know the family better, the cousins were really nice and one might even be going to umass next year so it would be fun to see them again, and i was able to experience some typical costa rican stuff, even if it was heavy drinking.