Well, summer vacation is officially over. New teachers report to school tomorrow, and it won’t be long before the kids show up. In the days between our trip to Manuel Antonio and going back to school, we’ve been taking it pretty easy, but we have gotten out to explore our surroundings a bit more.
Today we made our second trip to the San Pedro mall. If you remember, San Pedro is a bustling suburb of San Jose – if no one told you, you wouldn’t really know where one stopped and the other began.
On our first trip to the mall, we didn’t have much time to really explore, and one needs some time to get through this place. It is much like a mall back home except hallways don’t end with walls or doors; it is all open – if that makes sense. Being as the climate is darn near perfect here (high 70s in the day, 60 or so at night) it makes for a comfortable a/c-free shopping experience. It also makes for some confusion for new shoppers like us because it seems as though the place has forty different entrance/exits. And usually in a mall you can find yourself based upon your proximity to the food court – San Pedro has several. None of this mattered much because we had all day to stroll aimlessly.
We were at the mall around lunchtime, and we could no longer fight back our cravings for some good ole greasy cheeseburgers.
Until today we’d avoided American chain restaurants, but we finally gave in. The mall has all of ’em: Taco Bell, Subway, McDonald’s, Popeye’s, KFC… The menus are similar to those at home at all except they all include one item: french fries. Who woulda thought Taco Bells in Latin America would serve fries as a side with a quesadilla? They have french fries EVERYWHERE here.
Anyway, we intended on indulging at Burger King, but it was pretty disappointing. The burgers were minuscule, but my mom tells me her last burger at BK at home was the same way. Oh well, I don’t see us eating at these chains too often while we’re here: Soda food is too good and too cheap to pass up.
The mall has some… interesting… stores. In a country where you can’t travel a hundred yards without seeing a painting or sculpture of Jesus or a saint, I wouldn’t have expected so many risqué stores in the mall. Plenty of full-figured, “well-detailed”, scantily clad mannequins decorate the store fronts. It just seems strange to see this in a country where it wasn’t until fairly recently you were allowed to wear shorts in government buildings. It doesn’t bother us, but it did seem a little ‘out of character’ for the area.
We finished our trip to the five-story mall at the movie theater on the top floor.
They had four movies showing today: The Amazing Spiderman, Ice Age 4, Madagascar 3, and The Dictator. Movies here are either dubbed in Spanish or in English with Spanish subtitles.
From what I can tell, animated movies are always dubbed, so that narrowed our choices. Neither of us were thrilled to see the remaining two movies, but for the price, we couldn’t pass up the new Spiderman flick. Each of our tickets was 1000 colones – that’s $2!! Now, it was Wednesday, so there was a special on tickets from the normal price of 1,800 colones.
I think I laughed out loud a little when I saw the prices of the tickets and concessions which were equally as cheap. The theater was small, but as nice as any back home. The movie wasn’t bad at all, but I had this weird feeling of déjà vu throughout. It was almost as though I had seen the exact same movie starring Toby McGuire a few years ago… For four bucks you can’t complain.
All in all, it has been a nice, relaxing week as we prep for the new school year. What’s most relaxing is that we are feeling comfortable getting anywhere we need to go. I am even used to the buses where drivers give new meaning to “stop and go” driving.
Those guys amaze me. Not only are they driving a huge (manual) bus on
narrow, curvy, hilly roads, but they count their money and talk on their phones while they do it.
It seems everyone sure likes monkeys – the last post was about five times as popular as any of the previous posts. Hope everyone’s enjoying following along with us! The next post will give you a better idea of how and what we’ve been eating since moving to Costa Rica.