I photographed this Monday after Spanish Class and my bus ride to Alajuela, picking up a package at Aeropost, taking taxi to Walmart, then walking the half mile to the City Mall for lunch and a couple of items in shopping. I usually ignore this particular public art, but somehow it struck me today. On this same boulevard past the Mall is a red letter “a” (the little A) and the word “Alajuela” under it, which reminds me of the large red letters in Juan Santamaria Park spelling out “Alajuela” and that someone is trying to coordinate at least some of their public art. Interesting! ~Charlie
|Walmart (photo) and other stores started Christmas promotion in October!|
Like in so many developing nations, it is the commercial world that is most “up to date” or more “developed” or shows more “progress.” That has mixed advantages and disadvantages. Like Alajuela’s infrastructure (especially streets) is simply not ready for the biggest mall in the country! And the majority of the people cannot afford the expensive stores. It still amazes me how much the rest of the world hates the USA and yet copies it! Or should I say allows U.S. businesses to come in and change the local culture. Interesting to note that all 15 or 20 Burger Kings in Costa Rica have closed. Nada! Some investor was probably losing money. Yet all the McDonald’s and KFC’s seem to do well even with multiple Latin American fried chicken competitors opposite KFC. Likewise Coke & Pepsi do well, while some big or expensive stores depend greatly on expats along with the growing rich among Ticos. I think that will be the case of the new City Mall. Catch the quote below by a North American:
We’re not going to persuade people in the developing world to go without, but neither can we afford a planet on which everyone lives like an American. Billions more people living in suburbs and driving SUVs to shopping malls is a recipe for planetary suicide. We can’t even afford to continue that way of life ourselves.~Alex Steffen
|Iglesia Bautista 1946, Alajuela|
|Aerocasillas Alajuela Office|
From the bus station to Aerocasillas (the blue sign on gray building) is an 11 block walk or as they say here, “about 1100 meters” or actually “oncecientos metres.” Today I had one letter, a check from the sale of my dining room table and chairs, finally! So worth the trip! Then this afternoon when I got home I received notice via email that a package will be ready for me to pick up tomorrow. Grrr! Maybe I go tomorrow or maybe next week! ! It is the replacement blades for my electric razor that I couldn’t find here. Oh well! Another adventure!
|Church of the Agony, Alajuela|
|La Bohemia Rock Bar across the street from Church of the Agony|
|Cab Stand at Church of the Agony – $3 to Walmart – All official taxis are red!|
|Waiting for a replacement bus on the western edge of La Garita.|
AND ABOUT THE BUSES I RIDE . . .
If I go to Alajuela to pick up mail at Aerocasillas or shop at Walmart, that is one day’s activity, usually just one or two things accomplished per day. That trip is usually a half day or more if I eat lunch in Alajuela. San Jose trips can take longer and I have combined the two cities for most of a day. Below is photo of bus schedule in Atenas for Alajuela & San Jose. I have this printed and on my refrigerator to check for when the next bus leaves:
|Su Espacio is located in that corner building by the white pickup.
It is across the street from our only gas station in town which is part of
the largest Super Mercado, Coopeatenas – an important intersection for me!
The Spanish words Su Espacio mean “Your Space” in English and is the name of the community center where I had my second Spanish lesson today, located in the building pictured above across from the closest super market for me and the only gas station in town also owned by the super market. Like in small-towns in the States, there are sometimes monopolies by one person or company, though Coopeatenas is technically a cooperative owned by local farmers.