Everyday Life at the Hotel – Part Two

IMG_2605On the patio at the front of the cabin are four wooden chairs, some of the cabins have wooden rocking chairs and others have a really solid table and bench. ML and I kept looking at the table and bench and decided that we would really prefer this to the four chairs which although they look nice they were uncomfortable as they tip you backwards slightly. ML decided that he would move the bench but having lifted up one end decided that it was too heavy to move on his own.

When we saw the chambermaids we asked if it could be swapped over and they said yes but they would have to get the gardeners to move it for us. So we waited and we waited and we waited a bit longer, but it never moved. Eventually we decided that we would have to do it ourselves and hope that neither of us destroyed our backs in the process. I did suggest putting a cloth under each corner and sliding it across the tiles, it seemed a sensible suggestion but My Love wasn’t impressed with my idea.

We waited until a day when we saw the people leave with their cases before we put our plan in action. I moved the existing chairs out of the way and we each grabbed and end and lifted – blimey it was heavy. We dragged I think rather than carried it and as it scrapped across the tiles it made the most awful noise as we lurched across the patio.

We plonked it down and had to sit for a minute, not sure if the weight of the table is a deterrent to them being stolen or just the quality of the wood they are made from. I must I admit to glancing down at the tiles expecting to see black drag lines which I would have to clean up but other than a pile of dead insects that had been under the legs on the other patio there was nothing to show it had moved. We swiftly put our original chairs on the other patio and nonchalantly sat at our new benches, plonking drinks bottles, phones and ML’s keys on the table.

A new removal firm has been born ‘Draggit and Scarper’

restaurant entranceThere is a swimming pool at the hotel, it always seems busy but I’ve not been in yet and next to it is the restaurant and reception. It is pointless for us to go into reception unless there is one particular girl working who has more than a smattering of English and ML can converse enough with her to pay our bill. You would think it would automatically print out but no, I think it is typed in. I know the first time ML tried to pay it took them three goes before it was correct – well ML’s name was mangled but he didn’t fancy waiting even longer while she produced a fourth version.

In total he was gone three quarters of an hour but he was triumphant when he finally returned with his invoice and receipt. Since the first time the process has got much quicker but the name is still wrong but he now gets a fist bump from the receptionist so I guess they have bonded.

On our first night at the hotel we went to the restaurant to eat, we were faced with a waiter who was determined that we speak in Spanish and has made it his duty to teach us something new each time we go in. He laughs at my mangled attempts at Costa Rican Spanish and this is complicated by the waitress who also works in there who speaks a slightly different dialect. When it comes to other languages I admit I have no ‘ear’ at all. Expecting me to understand between the two of them is the equivalent of a Costa Rican trying to understand the nuances of a Cockney English and ‘Scouse’ (Liverpool) English.

The next hurdle we had to face was the menu was entirely in Spanish, that first night I had Spaghetti Alfredo because it was the only thing I recognised. Rather than getting fed up with the same meal every day for the foreseeable future I grabbed the menu and photographed every page.

The next day I spent the afternoon trying to translate using Google Translate. Some words it just laughed at me and I had to hunt the internet to see if I could find the word. In addition Google Translate is Spanish Spanish not Costa Rican Spanish. Anyway I ended up with eight pages of translated menu so we have been working our way through it. The waiter seems to find the fact that I order vegetables or salad with every meal really funny, not sure why but who am I to spoil his fun.

Unlike Vietnam I have not had any adverse reaction to the food – I am now touching wood because that really is tempting fate as far as my digestive system is concerned. Although going slightly of topic the toilets here have caused some hilarity and echoes of ‘round and round and round’ have emitted from the bathroom on occasions. The toilet bowls here are half full of water and when the toilet is flushed the water spins around quite a lot before it disappears.

football shirtAnyway back to the restaurant, we were there the night Costa Rica played Panama in Round Four of the qualifying matches for the World Cup in Russia in 2018. It was heaving with people and all four TV’s were showing the match. I think we were the only people in the place not in a Costa Rica football shirt. We didn’t stay until the end but the almighty roar that went up told us that Costa Rica had won. It wasn’t as loud as the roar that erupted in Barcelona when they won the UEFA Champions League in 08 – 09. The whole city erupted and until dawn the streets were filled with celebrating people and the cars drove around the city blasting their horns.

The hotel seems to be home to three small dogs they wander around the grounds but are always in the restaurant when we are. We only know the name of one of them ‘Lulu’, if you call her name she either ignores you or looks at you out of the corner of her eye. We have seen people putting food down for them but they never approach a table and they never beg. But what I find really odd is they never come up to you for a pat or a stroke. Lulu has an ongoing campaign to try and catch any motorcycle that dares to come into the car park and will suddenly launch herself legs flying on the slippery tile floor, barking in the hope of scaring them away.

cyclists 2This week we had a little bit of excitement when a corner of the restaurant was turned into a temporary studio for a radio station, although they was also a large video camera set up as well so I assume it was also being recorded. On Monday the Vuelta Ciclista Internacional a Costa Rica started. One of the stages finished in the small town near to the hotel and we had lots of support vehicles and bikes in the car park of the hotel.

One last comment on life in the hotel.

Most neighbours that we have in the attached cabin seem to arrive and depart quietly, their presence only identified by the lights being on or hearing their shower running. But recently we had a man who either had a trumpeting elephant in the room with him or when he blew his nose he made the loudest trumpet noise ever. The first time I was ‘What’s that?’ by the fifth time I was laughing so hard he was probably wondering what was going on in here.

Living in Costa Rica


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