I started my first day in Costa Rica off by flushing the only credit card I had with me down the toilet. Before that, the trip had come together so easily. I had been bemoaning the depressing weather in DC, and a friend said she’d be up for traveling. We’d settled on Costa Rica as someplace that would be more of an adventure than the just sit on a beach resort vacation. Plus neither one of us had been there yet, and I’m always excited to add a new country to my list. Not having much energy to deal with the all the logistics myself, I suggested we joined a tour. We also found direct flights to and from San Juan from IAD!
That first day we were getting ready to leave for a city tour when I decide to be “smart” by putting my driver’s license and credit card in the back pocket of the my pants since it had a button. A good idea, but only if I had followed it through by buttoning up the pocket. I was a little startled when my friend asked me why my ID was in the toilet but then realized what had happened as my hand went to my now empty back pocket. The license had not gone down the pipe, but after looking around, that clearly is where the credit card had gone. I have to say I have a very good friend as she even reached into the toilet and up the pipe as far as she could in case it was caught just out of site. Luckily it really wasn’t a problem as I still had my license, some cash, and my debit card. It didn’t even slow me down from buying souvenirs.
I was curious to meet up with the group that first night. Our tour company was a British based company so I was hoping that not everyone would be from the US. In fact, it turned out that only my friend and I were from the US, everyone else was British, which added a great deal of fun to the conversations at dinner comparing our countries and included some instructive lessons on different ways if cussing. I can’t really do an English accent except now for a couple of cuss phrases. Everything does seem so much more polite if said with an accent. There was also an ongoing competition between a few of the travelers on who could tell the most pirate jokes n the bus. It was mostly amusing.
Later in the trip, our tour guide told the guide for the night walk that everyone in the group was from Britain. I decided to go along with it and was getting some tips from the others on where I should say I lived if asked; better to say a neighborhood rather than just London. However, the first question from the guide that came my way blew my cover. He was showing us a venomous viper (from a safe distance) and telling us how long one had to get help before the venom would kill a person. He turned to me and asked what number you call in Britain for an emergency. I, of course, didn’t know so blushingly fessed up to being from the US. By the way, it is 999 in Britain, and in Costa Rica, it is 911, just like the US. (The State Department provides a list of equivalent 911 numbers in countries along with the smart tip of saving it in your cell phone before traveling. The link is below.)
The trip was a great success thanks to the fun group and the amazing sites and animals of Costa Rica. I now claim the sloth as one of my favorite animals. They are not lazy; they are efficient! A few pictures are included to show the highlights, and I’d definitely say add Costa Rica to your list of countries to visit.