Tuesday, February 07, 2006

How do you rehash a month's worth of memories into a reader-friendly post?

Answer: You don't.


Real answer: I don't know how to.

To say that it was 'really good' doesn't do my memories justice. Neither does saying it was 'mind-blowing, god-awesome, effing-brilliant stuff'. By the end of the one month, I've become so used to the travelling life that waking up in my bed the day after I got back evoked a momentary but pretty potent sense of disappointment, empty refridgerator not providing the least bit comfort.

I suppose the difference with Costa Rica compared to any other place I've travelled to so far, is the fact that it wasn't an English-speaking country, thus, providing me with very little choice but to actively immerse myself in the local language. And while I was practicing mis-pronounced Tico Spanish, whether consciously or not, a lot of the local culture became
ingrained into my life. Be it from adoring pinto (rice and beans basically, but don't let the blandness of the description fool you into thinking that the food was sister to cardboard) to setting my natural body clock to Tico time whilst on the Caribbean Coast (essentially a lot like Malaysian time - never punctual, constantly late) to understanding the basis behind the Nicaraguan jokes (like Malaysia and Indonesia, a lot of Ticos blame Nicaraguans for taking up local jobs although these are the jobs that the locals don't want), the hardest thing about leaving Costa Rica behind is having all these new ticks within me with no outlet to express it or any conceivable way to sustain it either.

Oh heck. But then I guess (in Southern Belle accent) "tomorrow is another da-ie", innit?

Here's my attempt at giving a run-through of my trip.

First two weeks
Were spent on the volunteer project. The head of our host family has been working with the Costa Rican Ministry of Agriculture for 25 years plus and he uses his house as an example of how organic farming works. Hence, he gets quite a bit of visitors, mostly local farmers who want to learn the techniques and he works with the government on advising local farmers on
how to apply an organic method to their farming lifestyle. What we did was help out around the farm, providing a hand to physical tasks, while personally learning why Costa Rica was pushing for organic farming around the country.

It wasn't all work and no play. We (there were 10 of us) travelled occasionally to the local town for Internet, headed out a couple of nights for dinner and clubbing, and even hit the tourist beach for a day of sun and souvenir shopping on our day off. Plus, the good camaderie between the ten of us made it so that work and life went by easier. What we all were
taken back by was the facilities provided on the farm. The TV on the farm, which had cable access provided us with entertainment. Eg. countless moments were spent debating whether MTV's Laguna Beach starred actors or real kids (my verdict: Like Arrested Development, I maintain it's scripted reality. But goddamn is that show an excuse to play today's latest hit
songs or what?). For those who were under the assumption that I was staying in this ulu-fied place, suffice to say that we actually caught the Golden Globes live on TV.

Last two weeks
Were spent on the adventure tour. We travelled along both the Pacific and Caribbean Coast, staying in some of the best resorts as well as some of the more dodgier ones (think cockroach on the mirror). Allow me to take a second and mock you by saying I have now swam in both the Pacific and Carribean waters. Ha! Among other things, we went kayaking in the rain, horse-riding in the mountains, zip-lining across the forests, white-water rafting down Class 2,3,4 rapids, bike-riding to the beach and snorkelling in the Pacific Ocean. I know. If I were you I'd be jealous too.

Last day before flying out
Were spent in LA. The night before, while flying from Costa Rica to LA, Yoong Mei, you won't believe who was on the same airline parked up in Business Class. As your friend I say you deserve every right to smack my head in when you see me for I failed to get you Sting's autograph. However, I do have something to atone for my mistake. How's a picture of
Sting's star from the Hollywood Walk of Fame sound?

LA was pretty damn fantastic considering the short amount time we spent there (just one night and 3/4 of a day). Charm and I by foregoing a trip to Disneyland instead, flew home with a bunch of decent shopping in our hands. Of course, we did a tour of LA as well, and really, the only thing that put a slight dent into my memory of that day was the fact that I
didn't meet Seth Green. Or Ethan Embry. I did meet Elmo. But who the hell gives a damn about that retarded, annoying blob?

To sum up: you can't go wrong in life my making a trip down there someday.

And yes, I have your souvenirs, kids. Go crazy.


February the 8th, today a perfect specimen turns 32. Whaaaaaaaaat?!? That's not TOO old.

Also, to the people who have been calling me and leaving me messages. My phone's kinda momentarily screwed right now. It's got, what phone doctors would consider, a mild case of 'overdue-billitis' which unfortunately led to a severe case of 'line-gets-barreditis'. Huh. So apparently I'm only a "worthy customer" so long as I keep my payments on time. Therefore to the lovely people who have contacted me, be patient. Why am I not calling you on my home phone? Ahhh. Sadly the above mentioned disease was pretty lethal and my home phone got afflicted with it too. Damn dirty technology! However, while my phone is unable to make outside calls, it has excellent receiving skills. Feel free to give me a call. And Sammy, sorry I didn't pick up; had a shift.

Brokeback Mountain, first movie of 2006. And hot damn, it's an excellent start. Sets a pretty high bar for this year. I was watching the first quarter of the movie wondering why the hell everyone was raving about Heath Ledger's performance, when it was pretty neat but not buzz-worthy material. Come the end, gee whiz, I am floored.

Finally, Crazy Woman Who is Obsessed With Rent. Breathe. It's coming out here on March 2 (or possibly 19).