One of my goals here in Costa Rica is to be able to travel around by myself when I want to, after having been indoctrinated along with someone else, like my husband.
So today I went off to Alajuela by myself on board the Atenas-Alajuela bus, 600 colones, or about $1.20 CAD for an hour's trip. I boarded the 0900 bus and got to Alajuela just before 1000.
I was aiming to get to Llobets, a landmark department store in Alajuela. I knew enough to get off the bus and head right, and I did that. I had the directions for Llobets and the street addresses but - of course - there are no street addresses! Defeated, I stopped and asked a couple of smart looking local policemen/women and they were both so helpful. I brightened up when I realized I could understand quite a bit of what they were saying in Spanish and I found my way to Llobets.
Llobets is three stories high, sells men, womens' and childrens' clothing plus linens, etc. I was hoping to buy shorts, a couple of dresses, some light weight trousers, and maybe a few cotton shirts. Doom!!!
No shorts! no trousers that fit me! no dresses! no shirts that fit me! I did buy a pair of smart looking sandals, so I don't have to walk around in flip flops when we go to town - they are kind of frowned upon. Also bought a pair of high water pants. That's it - I tried on a pile of clothes and nothing fits. The sizes are not like we are used to in Canada, but then Ticas are smaller built than we are.
But -- I am so pleased that I was able to shop and buy in Llobets - not a word of English is spoken there, or so it seemed to me. I wanted size 8 shoes and asked for ocho (eight) and got them!! This is the best way to learn a foreign language.
Found my way back to the bus station and boarded the Atenas bus just before it was ready to leave. No seats available ... so stood all the way to Atenas. That's OK, lots of fresh air blowing in the windows. Caught a cab in Atenas to take me home to Vista Atenas. Had a cold shower to cool off. Think I will have to do on line ordering for my clothing. But I had a blast doing this all by myself!!