Tuesday, January 15, 2013

No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.

~ Lin Yutang

Back in 2007 John and I flew from London to Costa Rica to attend a wedding.  We were still just dating then, and it was the first time I met his parents - kind of a big deal, though I didn't get away with simply being awfully nervous, no.  I also got very sick the day before the trip, and by the time we got on the plane, I knew I'm in serious trouble.  

John's parents turned out to be two of the most fantastic people ever, but everything else was a disaster.  The excitement of my first trans-Atlantic flight turned into a nightmare as my health condition deteriorated; I was nearly deaf when we landed in Miami and I could hardly speak through a swollen throat and congested nose.  I was feverish and tired, and I was super irritable - something even the knowledge that I am on American land (be it transit) couldn't make better.  Adding insult to injury, our connecting flight to San Jose (Costa Rica's capital, not the one in the Silicon Valley) got cancelled due to a hurricane, and we had to stay overnight in a hotel near the airport.  I couldn't see a doctor in such a short notice, but I managed to take a hot bath and sleep a few hours.  That, alas, only made me feel more jet-lagged and disoriented, and the next morning I found myself sitting on a plane with absolutely no idea what was going on.  It was bad.  We had to wait another 40 min. for the pilot to show up (our first lesson in how Costaricans perceive time) but finally we were airborne and two full days after our departure we arrived in Central America.

After that was a very awkward lunch at a local restaurant - I had lost my voice and I could only gesture to people - 3 hour bus ride to the other side of the country, ridden with views of crocodile infested rivers and never-ending rain forests, and checking in a hotel on the very beach of the Pacific ocean that had a rather hallucinatory quality.  One thing you should know about the tropical climate: it doesn't go well with a severe case of the flu.  The air was so humid, so hot, I had to work hard to keep breathing.  It was all very bizarre.  Long story short, over the next hours I got progressively worse, and on the day of the wedding I thought that I might actually die.  John took me to the doctor and she gave me a steroid shot in the arse and an antibiotic prescription, and I was able to see, hear, and talk again.  I didn't die on an remote exotic beach, thank goodness.

The following photos represent the trip quite well.  They look as if they are taken with a 2 megapixel potato, and I had a lot of trouble removing the date stamp from each one before editing them anew.  It's a lost photographic opportunity, if there was ever one, but hey, I'm alive!  Also, I don't have any photos of the wedding itself, because despite of my best efforts over the years, I couldn't find any respect for the people who got married there.  You, however, can see my wonderful in-laws, and a bit of the magical land of the Rich Coast.

Oh, and I don't really look sick in these pictures.  I look strung out and kind of drugged. Which wasn't far from the truth either.

P.S. Once again, this is not the original crop of the images.  I need to figure out how to make collages that don't chop the edges off....