I have been gone from Rochester for eight and a half months. This means for that long I have been rotating the same four outfits, staring at my tarnished silver jewelry wishing I had brought my polishing rag along for the ride, I haven’t once washed my own laundry, I have shared rooms in hostels with strangers whose faces all meld into one at this point, I have not had a space to call my own since I lived in my little tree house in Tulum for six weeks in December and January. Other people have, not by their choice, overheard my personal skype conversations in shared dorm rooms, as well as my farts, which aren’t so personal, nor have I tried to be discreet about those either. I’ve had to wait to use the bathroom (we all know how hellish that can be post big meal of rice and beans), the shower, the communal kitchen (I get very angry when I’m hungry, not the best combination for trying to make friends in hostels). Sure, I did two homestays and had my own bedroom but I was still living in someone else’s house. I still felt a certain obligation to put on a face, be social, speak lots in Spanish when some days all I wanted to do was the complete opposite.
Being an individual who craves alone time and personal space to the point of being called weird because of it, frankly, I don’t know how I’ve lasted this long without tearing my eyeballs out. I looked at it all as an exercise in patience; something I’ve been trying to incorporate into my personality about as well as I’ve tried incorporating loathsome beets into my diet. Sometimes I’m able, sometimes I’m not. The thing is, I had Nicaragua at my fingertips. It was a glove I was shaking out about to try on. However, my friend, Marc, offered me his apartment as he was about to return to the states for a six week spell. At first, I declined, saying I was heading north, ready to add another stamp to my passport. However, after some indecisiveness about whether or not I was ready to leave, the thought of moving around from hostel to hostel again in Nicaragua didn’t make me feel elated. It made me feel deflated. So I decided to take Marc up on his offer. How the hell I ever considered not taking advantage of this offer is a mystery now that I’m here.
|Banana, papaya, mango, strawberry, ginger smoothies on the daily.|
Since I moved to this little apartment in the jungle, I have been able to do things like put my food in the refrigerator that I’m not sharing with anyone and not label any of it with my name and the date. I also don’t have to push all of my food to one corner on one shelf in the fridge like my perishables are quarantined from the rest of the perishable society in that cold, dark land. I don’t have to wear my flip flops in the shower in fear of podiatry foul play. There is a rice cooker and a blender both in mint condition, the latter I use at least once a day, each whir of the blade taking me to a higher level of fruit smoothie buzz. There are several amazingly sharp knives as well as wonderfully proper pots and pans. There is a queen size bed with a firm mattress that doesn’t reek of mold, nor does it sag in the middle like the valley between two camel humps. I don’t have to read with a headlamp as if I’m spelunking into the pages of my book late at night. I get my current events knowledge on by plugging Marc’s speakers into my computer and listening to On Point Radio, my favorite NPR show. I can listen to one Beyonce song on repeat for an hour and prance around in my unmentionables signing along and not annoy anyone by it (don’t scoff, you know you’ve done the same with your favorite singer, hairbrush standing in as microphone or strumming that badass riff on your air guitar). I am not woken up late at night by someone else coming into the room, turning on the light and rummaging around for their toothbrush and pajamas. I am alone and utterly ecstatic about it.
My little, temporary abode is just fantastic and surrounded by jungle. Although I’m no longer across the street from the ocean, I’m still close and I can hear it along with the multitudes of jungle bugs humming constantly. If I choose, I can be here until the end of September when Marc returns. Or, I can totally move in, change the locks and tell Marc he needs to find another place to live. Oh, and I’ll take his green bike with the broken basket that is not rusted from humidity and salt yet. An anomaly in these parts. I will take over his hot sauce collection in the fridge and add to it. Food is not spicy enough for me here in Costa Rica and I was thrilled to open the fridge door for the first time and see an adequate collection of hot sauces. One thing I miss about Mexico, is how spicy you can make the food there. The more you cry, the more numb your mouth feels, the more painful it is, the more delicious the food. I swear it’s the best thing you can be addicted to. Unless you go overboard and it’s just as spicy exiting as it was entering. Then you know you’ve gone too far.
|Yup, breathing fire and in pain but oh sooo good!|
Anyhow, I’m supposed to be telling you about this lovely apartment and not how my body reacts to an overdosed intake of spicy food. I don’t know how long I will be here for. Nicaragua is still on the horizon, I just need a vacation from sharing living spaces at the moment. I’ve only been here for about a week and I’m not ready yet to say goodbye to sharp knives, blenders, showers sans flip flops, privacy in general, On Point and of course, prancing around in my unmentionables singing and dancing to Beyonce.