On Thursday of this week, we bused our way to San Jose to pick up our mail at ARCR (Association of Residents of Costa Rica). We decided that every time we do this, we will also combine it with visiting some landmark in San Jose.
This trip, we decided on going to the Archivo Nacional (National Archives) in Zapote because they had an exhibit on of early photos and documents of Costa Rica, dating from as early as perhaps 1853. We took a taxi from Casa Canada to the Archives. AM Costa Rica, a daily English language news source on line, featured an article on this exhibit and that's how we found out about it.
It took us a while to get in the door, because we were trying to explain why we were there in terrible Spanish and get past the guard with his Magic Wand. Eventually, they let us in and sent a lovely curator who explained the exhibit to us in English. Embarrassing .... she apologized for her English which was very good and here we are with just a few words of this country's native language. We tried to apologize to her.
Then we took another taxi to PriceSmart, which is like Costco, only the yearly membership is $30 US, not $50 CAD which is what we paid for our Costco membership in Canada. I decided to sign us up for this thinking that maybe once a month I would take the bus to the PriceSmart in Alajuela and stock up on basics. Then if I go to the feria in Atenas most Fridays, I could get the perishables (fruit, vegetables, meat, cheese). I think I need to get a wheelie cart though.
This particular PriceSmart in Zapote is huge. We got there just before noon so decided to have lunch at their fast food counter. We both got the two pieces of chicken, fries and drink combo - huge portions - we could easily have split one order. Then off to shop - then I realized they don't provide bags - so whatever we bought had to fit in my small fabric shopping bag.
I was particularly looking for gel ice packs - didn't see them. We did stock up on razor blades, found some local Gouda cheese, saw Hebrew National hot dogs which are supposed to be the best, but decided against them because we had a long ride home and what if they went off.
I found shorts! yahoo! for six dollars U.S. and they fit, only bought one pair but now wish I had bought all the colors offered.
This shocked me: a display of lighted Christmas trees for sale along with kids' gifts. I know Christmas is a big holiday here, but this does seem early.
Then, taxi to the Coco Cola bus depot, bought two bottles of water from our now well known snack vender who recognizes us, and seems to be able to speak Spanish, English and French (he said to us "comment allez vous?") so we think he recognized that we are Canucks.
Here are some photos of the fruit drinks we had in San Jose and of the Archives building.