I lived for 3 years in The Gambia, West Africa which is undoubtedly a “3rd World” country, so much more primitive and less developed than Costa Rica which some call a “2nd World” or developing nation, but still almost a night-day contrast with The Gambia, though occasionally something reminds me of Africa, usually in rural areas but sometimes even in the cities.
When I go to Alajuela by bus I arrive at a primitive bus station, just a big parking lot! Not in the most desirable part of town! Then my most common first stop is Aeropost to pick up an internet order package, about a 10 to 12 block long walk (I need to count it sometime!). The first 4 blocks or until past the Central Market is what sometimes reminds me of Africa. The broken sidewalks are usually crowded with many people, most poor. They are made more crowded by the occasional vendor like the fruit & vegetable guy in this photo and beggars sitting on the sidewalk asking for money. (None of this in Atenas.) And this area has only cheap merchandise shops, trash in the street, nasty smells of rotting food, milk, or even a dead animal today (probably a rat/mouse) causing me to walk fast the first four blocks to get past the mercado and my reminders of West Africa. Then there is a large department store, bank, nicer businesses, Central Park, Cathedral, restaurants, etc. Another world a block away!
And today I fell again (like I’m getting old or something!). On the way back up the street from Aeropost, just before Central Park and the McDonalds where I ate breakfast, my foot was stopped by a loose brick in the sidewalk while the rest of my body kept going! Crash into the nasty street gutter with abrasions on both hands and knees and immediately a plethora of people helping me get up, a parking lot attendant giving me his chair. I asked him for a band-aid but could not remember the spanish name (la curita) and rare that I did not have one in my billfold, but I didn’t. I just wrapped my bleeding finger in my handkerchief and walked on to McDonalds where I cleaned up in their bathroom and rested with a full breakfast before walking back to the next bus to Atenas. That was today’s adventure and I’m staying home the rest of the day! 🙂 And reminding myself to break a very old habit of walking fast! And life is still good here!
PS — The related posts that are following at the end of each new post are automatically generated by WordPress, I assume based on keywords. I find this interesting and think that most of their suggestions are pretty good. 🙂