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Monday, 03 May 2010

A Lesson in Culture Shock: Getting Used to the Wildlife in and Around the House - Page 2

Written by Mateo Amaral
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“There are no words to describe that paradise.” This is what my friend Jeff (who lives in San Jose, Costa Rica) told me when I asked him about Playa Samara. It is a beach town five hours west of San Jose on the Pacific Coast. It is one of the last and best pure beach towns left whose coastline hasn’t become an advertisement for hotel chains. “You’re going to love it.”

And we walked down the beach with Rabies, and I threw coconuts toward the water and he happily retrieved them, even though they were exactly half the size of his entire body. And other dogs would run up and wag their tails at us, and smell their friend Rabies. It was a pleasant start to our first day.

Then the wildlife started piling up in scales and feathers.

Geckos are on all the walls. These little pink guys and girls whose calls sound like that of a small monkey with his nose plugged. They scurry around light bulbs and there is always one or two in our room. I once had one land on my head.

A Lesson in Culture Shock: Getting Used to the Wildlife in and Around the House, Playa Samara, Spanish school, Language School Costa Rica, travel Costa Rica, cockroaches, Culture Shock, Mateo AmaralThere are pigs in our front yard. “So we live with pigs,” I assured Alisa. “At least they seem friendly.” I quickly named them Snowball and Napoleon.

Dozens of chickens peck around the beach during the day and sleep in the trees at night. That more than anything reminds me of home back in the ghetto.

Our Tica mom bought four geese two days after we arrived, “For the ambiance,” she said in Spanish, because I guess a ranch vibe wasn’t complete with just pigs, chickens and dogs.

Then there are the monkeys in the trees. Those are cool. Our Tico dad says that they’ll come down to you if you have a banana. I plan on convincing Alisa to do it and catching what happens on video.

Then there are the bugs.

When we set to unpacking on that first day, we were a bit worried to see at least thirty to forty ants in our room within ten minutes. There were also multiple species of flying insects flapping around in the heat. The room wasn’t dirty, and ants aren’t necessarily the final Mayan sign of the apocalypse, but it’s weird tolerating something in your bedroom you haven’t tolerated your entire life. If we find more than two ants in any room in the States I call my dad and ask him for the ant-sprayer. Even so, we brushed them out the window and made sure our drawers were closed all the way, and we were okay.

Then I saw the roaches.

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Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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