Turtles and Time Travel

Had my first encounter with turtles in Costa Rica this week. Not quite what I expected..

Shared a few of the characteristics I’d expect of your average turtle – quite old looking, much loved endangered species that returns time and again to its favourite haunts (usually at night-time) to perform that most ancient of rituals..

But that’s where the similarities end. These ones didn’t have shells, and were considerably more hairy. But they did do an exceptionally good rendition of Ziggy Stardust!

Las Tortugas are THE best rock band in the country. Not hard to be best in a country of 5 million perhaps, but nonetheless, exceptional musicians with a loyal and ageing fan-base of 35-50 somethings who still think they are 20-something and flock to hear the best of the 70’s and 80’s..Santana, Pink Floyd, Beatles, Led Zepellin, Bowie..and, er, Chicago.  They were as authentically 70’s rock as you could get: large lurid shirts, long straggly hair, and an ostentatious number of flashy electric guitars  – each.

In a country where the love of (real) turtles goes deep, calling yourself a Turtle is clever and culturally relevant. I do wonder though, if it would cross cultural boundaries and work for Brixton Academy? Maybe. Certainly wouldn’t translate well in China, where it’s far too close an approximation of ‘Dick head.’ Perhaps I should tell them, just in case they are planning an Asia tour.

Regardless, a few of us spent a few happy hours in a friendly live music joint Jazz Cafe down the road singing along to ‘Just another brick in the wall’ and other timeless classics..But for the plate of refried beans in front of me,  I could have been in a small smokey Soho joint..

Time travel with Las Tortugas

The only slight hitch in the evening was getting locked in the ladies loo. Stupid lock resolutely stayed locked. And in the space of 5-7 minutes of door fiddling and swearing, no-one came to the rescue! (Women in Costa clearly have superior bladder control..) So I had to assess two options: slithering under the door, just like that snake did in the jungle shower cubicles (but with rather less grace) or climbing over the partition in a Tarzan-with-heels-like fashion. Neither option seemed dignified, but the latter seemed preferable to wiping the floor of a public toilet with my Saturday night outfit.

And as I emerged victorious from the loo from hell, to the sound of Stairway to Heaven,  all seemed right with the world again..

Real turtles next time. Less hassle with loo doors, and no fear of (more) refried beans.

[To follow: Singing Bohemian Rhapsody with the Muppets. And more spiders, of the smiley kind]


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Nick on May 24, 2011 at 8:32 am

    Will you be our Lesser Panda Latin America manager? If it’s slightly iffy 70’s/80’s rock covers they like, we’ve found our our niche. 🙂


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