Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Black Glasses, White Cheese

We are rapidly approaching the finish line here at INCAE and I must say that I'm more than ready to move on to the next adventure. I've learned a good deal in my time here but it's been a trial and error process with a lot of sitting around waiting for things to happen. If you think that the INCAE-traz monicure is an over-statement, consider this: Last night I overheard another student professing that he was so desperate to escape INCAE that he was on the verge of soliciting sexual favors to one of his roommates for a ride to San Jose. Yes it was a joke but we are all feeling trapped and finals are cranking up the pressure and we are ready to explode.

Enough said. It's time to go.

I suppsoe I better also tell you about getting robbed. I should have known something was going to happen last weekend because, for the first time in Costa Rica, I left the capus in the presence of two other Americans on a weekend adventure. Usually my computer, ipod and anything of real value stays here on INCAE campus while I head out adventure. Last weekend, however but we had been invited to to escape INCAE and study for finals at a fellow student's guuest house down south on the pacific coast. The house was located up a remote dirt road and was, by Costa Rican standars, very safe.

To get up this dirt road we had to rent a 4WD vehicle and, being the poor students that we are, chose the cheapest four wheeler we could find. Our ride was a Suzuki Jimmy, which I affectionately called the 4WD lawnmower from hell. The thing is basically a tin box on wheels, tipy as hell and barely able to fit the three of us inside at the same time (the third passenger actually had to lay across the back seat because his legs wouldn't fit any other way).

We left in the late afternoon and all was fine for much of the ride as we made our way down the coast. Earlier that day we had promised one of the Swedish exchange students that we would stop and pick up a surf board that he had left for repair in the beach town of Jaco. Driving into the town, we decided to stop for a bite of food and to buy some rope to tie the surfboard to the Jimmy's roof. We ate at a little taco stand just next to the hardware store, walked in to buy our rope and off we went. What none of us realized was that during the 5 minutes we had spent in the hardware store someone had popped the lock on our trunk, reached in and grabbed every single bag in our car. Welcome to Jaco you fat, American idiots.

To add insult to injury, the surfboard that we came to Jaco to collect had not even been repaired and we were forced to leave empty-handed. None of us noticed that the bags had been stolen until we reached the beach house a few hours later that night. It was, to say the least, a sour moment. I threw my umbrella in disgust, restrained from the oft-obligatory wall punch and began to wrap my head around everything we had just lost. Among the casualties were computers, cameras, ipods, kindles, clothes and one really freaking nice backpack. I'm not going to lie, it hurt. But stuff is stuff and you can't grieve for it any more than it grieves for you. I'd like to imagine my MacBook Pro shed a single tear when it realized that it would never see me again.

We did our best to enjoy the weekend, surfing, relaxing and studying what little material remained in our possession. On the way home we stopped in Jaco to file a police report in the hopes that one of us might be able to claim the losses on our insurance. The Jaco police politely informed us that official reports must be made in national office of investigation in the capital city of San Jose. Makes total sense.

We returned to campus with our tails and, after a quick powwow, decided to try our luck finding the office of investigations in San Jose. Somehow we made our way through the darkness to the center of town, into the judicial building and in front of spanish-speaking official who could write up the police report. She took the whole matter seriously until the moment that one of us with very little spanish training tried to described the eye glasses that had been left in his now stolen bag.

"Black Sunglasses in a white case," he tried to say. Unfortunately in spanish it came out as "lentos negos en queso blanco." Black sunglasses in white cheese. She smiled. We laughed.

What else can you do?

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