I am, for the first time in a month, on interent that is not costing minute by minute. Sitting in this hostel in San Jose, I thought to use this time to write about life lived on Taboga Island. But there is a more pressing story to be told.
Two days ago we decided to go to Costa Rica. Last night at 10:45pm we boarded a bus for the Panama-Costa Rica border. Full of riders, the capsule carried through the night, stopping only once at 2:00am. It was a twilight zone of a rest stop. As soon as our charter pulled to a stop all other passengers were ready and on their still sleeping feet, soon shuffling off the bus to what amounted to a Purgatorial Luby´s in the middle of Panamanian Nowhere. Served one at a time by late night lunch ladies, the passengers still in their bus seat sleepiness piled up ribs and rice and meat and meat and meat. Piles of meat. At two in the morning. Like drones.
I, like a typical CenTex youth group kid driving home from a middle school retreat, bought a pack of Pringles and a soda. Somehow that makes more sense at two in the morning that a pile of ribs.
On the bus again, snacking, I watch the meat eaters file back on and take their seats as the bus took off for the border. And it Took Off. Took off. All the sudden this sleepy bus turned into a theme park style terror ride. Going 90 mph down a hardly two lane highway in the middle of a rainforest corridor. The window fog shown blue from the bus lights reflecting on tree branches and creepers racing all around us. And on every curve the bus tilted as if it was not on wheels at all but actually flying above the ground and leaning into the turns. Carla, sitting across the isle got so frightened on one turn she reached up for the seat in front of her but instead grabbed the seat´s rider´s head. The confused man just brushed her off. It was a perfect ride into this Halloween day.
Then, at the border in 6 in the morning we still hadn´t decided where in Costa Rica we were going. While waiting on our exit stamp from Panama, we borrowed a travel book from the Aussie couple in front of us and decided on San Jose. The border crossing took all of two hours during which a small Panamanian lady launched a verbal assault on us because she said we were in a wrong line. She actually got on the phone and complained about the ¨mess¨we were making.
We finally arrived in Costa Rica after another 6 hours on the bus. We decided this afternoon that our final destination is Monteverde. What will we do there? Rainforest type things maybe. We´re not sure. It will likely just happen to us.
Finally, a post.
Things are so much different than I expected on Taboga Island…
1. No internet, phone or address
2. No easy way to get to and from the city (ie… I’m more or less marooned.)
3. I am almost talking-to-wilson crazy at least once a week
4. I found refried beans!
5. Carla and Erin coming here made all the difference in terms of social sanity.
6. I’m going to Costa Rica in a few hours!
And more… internet it expensive these days, so I will not be able to post much. I wrote what I think is quite a nice post a couple weeks ago only to be told I couldn’t use my flash drive on what is the only public access computer on Taboga Island. So… this could be it for a while. But eventually I will post a nice, creative bit on island experience. Best I can do now is a list.
1. Snorkelling. Being surround by fish… watching a sting ray glide beneath me.
2. Island dance party.
3. Beach beach beach. And more beach.
4. The arrival of Carla and Erin.
Each could be a blog entry… but for now, I’m going to Pizza Hut. We’re in the city, waiting for our overnight bus to Costa Rica. It’s bound to be quite the adventure as we haven’t actually picked a Costa Rican destination yet. Just the idea is enough to set us on our way.
I don’t know why I beg for the hopelessly cheesy soundtrack of violins followed a couple of scenes later by plucky folk, but I do. When sitting on the slick and suddenly expansive wood floor of my empty room, I want to hear the violins in a slow moving tone, pulling out the tears with a gentle guiding tug. Then, a couple of days later when I am driving down the road in my new-life-chapter location, the finger picking will match the sway, the hopefull movement, the wind in my hair as I lean out the window of a moving car, white teeth to the sun, all the world in my eyes.
It all could come with a disc. These moments would be colored with song. Some of them were:
-Last Saturday night a few of my close friends and I grabbed my change jar and floated to the dime arcade. There are no great games here. But they all cost a dime. On a few dollars you can roll the skeeball, shoot hoops, have an air hockey tournament and get a snack at the play-til-you-win candy crane. After gathering our tickets I got a pair of oversized orange sunglasses and an splatting egg ball. But the real prize was a suggestion on the way home from my backseated friend who yelled out over the music that since we were downtown we should pull over and dance. We did, ending the night sweaty with a few onlookers and all of us crowded around Kelly who was impressively deep voiced miming the end of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”.
-Being in my empty room. Yes, I thought violins sitting there on the wood floor.
-Today, hanging out with my little sister, who was skipping school to hang out with me. I encouraged this of course, because I’d hoped we would make sock puppets. I wanted to spend the day making some puppets and rehearsing a show the two of us could put on for our family. Am I an awesome big brother? I didn’t do it because I wanted to be great. I did it because I’ve always wanted to be a muppeteer. And maybe because I thought she’d think it was cool. We made the puppets. “Thriller” again made the show. And Michael Jackson-Sock was smo. King. The sock was getting it. The family laughed.
-Hugging my oldest sister in the driver way. Sometimes we feel the world spinning, and we are thrown by the pull of it. I think my sister’s life has thrown her, and our hug felt like the world could settle down, if just in that moment. Like when I lay down on the floor sometimes and stare at the ceiling. I feel it in my core; everything feels like its slurring around me until all the sudden it all slow-brakes to a halt and settles. Our hug did that.
I am leaving for Panama in a couple of days. Actually the day ater tomorrow I will be there. I don’t really know what’s coming. I feel on edge, really. On the edge of my life about to jump. Like the first time I bungee jumped in New Zealand, having never seen it done, having no idea how it really worked, no idea if the cord would hold, and if it did, to what anchor.
The guy said to me on that Taupo cliff, “Alright now, just walk your toes out over the edge and have a go.”
I love Loretta. This is a wonderful old woman in a visor with her walker-walking husband who, following Loretta, blessed me like a bedoin guru that traded in his loincloth for blue-jeans with an elastic waistband, a thin polo and a straw hat. They brought their shrimpy rat-dog who they “can’t go anywhere without” to the park to join us, Abilenians of one sort or another, gathered to celebrate World Refugee Day a few months late.
I will formally begin leaving here, with this post.