Life’s necessities

I have some mangos in my new fruitbowl, a bottle of wine in my new fridge, and a semi-functioning jacuzzi (well, round sunken bath) in my bathroom.  I have also counted the number of steps to the small palm-fringed swimming pool outside the kitchen window.  It’s ten. Well, maybe twelve if I dawdle. So I think the basics of my new life are in place..!

‘Twas not always thus, however. I had to put my little fantasy of waking up to a hillside of coffee farms and mango trees on hold while I grappled with the reality of getting from A to B (option 1: long, hot and bouncy bus journey, possibly two; option 2: get my own car), and the fact that traffic between the towns here at rush hour is almost as bad as Beijing..! (there are a couple of ‘autopistas’ running down the spine of the country, and the rest a random assortment of B, C, D and Z roads..)

I saw the laid back, leafy, slightly scruffy-but-quaint academic digs that are close to the university, but miles away from the nearest hip and cool centres.I also saw the best that hip and cool offers: slick studio flat up on the mountain with swimming pool, jacuzzi and fabulous views of 3 volcanoes (now, that’s just being greedy); close to life and buzz, but had rather Chinese looking decor and strange, slightly pink pillars in the bedroom..It’s the small things that count…

And then…And then, I found THIS lovely little oasis!

My front yard

Not in my wildest dreams could I have imagined a space so luxuriously leafy, laid back and yet so close to life, as this, for my modest budget. It’s as far away from a concrete condo as you can imagine, and I even have a coffee tree (well, plant) out on the verandah! The best way I can describe it is as a sort of exotic urban cabana; all wood, tiles and glass (to let in all the lovely light), big and airy, and a funky blue corkscrew staircase leading to the second floor (with aforementioned semi functioning jacuzzi in bedroom).  Downstairs, room aplenty for yoga/music/profound contemplation/parties..

The only thing I find slightly disconcerting is the sound of wind in the palm trees outside my window at night. Sometimes, in the light of the moon they cast triffid-like shadows on my walls and bend to tap gently on my windows.. I suppose it makes a change from foxes fighting in my garden in Streatham!

Thanks to the fabulous 40 year old single mum/fixer called Karolina who found me this place, who is now my new ‘best friend’, I have also already been to my first local social event.. ‘El Tope’, or horse fair (excuse for general piss up in the streets), involving thousands of cowboys and cowgirls from surrounding farms prancing in old Castillian horse form  (which looks a bit like a sort of ‘knees up mother brown’ for horses, but a bit more elegant) through the streets in their finest leathers and low cut tops to the general shouts, leers, and cheers of locals (us) standing on the back of huge flatbed trucks, all tanked up (us, not the trucks) after hours of drinking in the sun..  It was Al Capone (Costa Rican version) meets Jennifer Lopez (rustic version)! By the end of the day, horse, punter, rider, alcohol and music merged into a hot and sweaty climax..

Al Tope, Alajuela

OK, there’s lots more to tell about my lovely tattoed neighbours, the black chicken, and my madly eccentric landlady and her turtles.. not forgetting the Nicaraguan taxi driver that made off with my new frying pan, but that will have to wait.

As to work.. my first task next week is to go visit a coffee farm ‘out east’ where the monkeys roam.. such hardship. And big spiders.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Amanda Thomson on March 27, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    Oh happiness and bliss – what a crack of a place!! My dear you have landed and I fear will not be wishing to return any time too soon! Great pad and a great start to your adventure. Sebaticle my bum… this is it!!! Well I’ll watch this space to see how you progress… fab idea to have the blog.
    🙂 Tomoxx


  2. Looks gorgeous. Has it got a spare bedroom? I feel a holiday coming on….!

    (Have now added your blog to my Google Reader so hopefully will catch up a bit better, sounds like you’ve been having fun though.)


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