Let me start with this post being about Costa Rica and the "Not" fun that I had.
Me and my besty, Matt try to get together at least once a year and travel, doing stuff along the way that may or may not get us handed lengthy terms in foreign adult day care or prison for those not in the know. And this trip started out like any other trip with us on the airplane having a couple of drinks and flirting with any woman\stewardess with in 5 rows of us. Unlike the rest of the trips neither of us were drinking, for different reasons but a dry plane ride nonetheless.
We touch down later in about 3.5 hours and get off the plane and make our way to the exit. As we get to the doors leading out we get jumped by every taxi, limo, van and I think there may have been scooter service, to take us to our final destination. Literally these cats were bidding on us to take us to our location but Matt and I were talking about the possibility of renting a car but shrugged it off once we talked about it some more. I mean, who wants to drive in a 3rd world country? Certainly not me. I want to be able to blame someone else if i get into an accident... Now, that was originally the plan, don't rent just catch a cab. But after hearing these redonkulas numbers these cabbies were throwing out we decided that it would be well worth the risk knowing that we would be going different places and and having to take a cab back and forth, especially at the prices they were hollering, just wouldn't be financially responsible of us and besides, it would cut into our drinking money ;) So we negotiate the cost and head to the off site office to pick up the car and drive to the condo (which was SUPER PIMP).
Now as we are driving I'm swiftly reminded as to why I don't normally drive out of country For about 60 miles we were on 1 lane roads that switched to 2 lanes when going up mountains so that you could pass slower vehicles like tractors and mopeds. There are a shit ton of mountains. The only real flat places that we saw on the trip were by the beach and even then they weren't that flat. And many different live stock trucks and a few chickens crossing the road to boot. I'm glad the brakes were good.
We make it to the condo and unpack our stuff and head out to look around and get some lunch. By the time we head back Matt says hes not feeling well. Now I'm not saying Matt is a hypochondriac but lets just say that I've seen this before. Now in his defense he was just getting over a lung infection that he was taking antibiotics for so I thought maybe that had something to do with it. So we go back to the condo, I to the couch and he to his room and we plan on meeting up later that night after he takes a nap and watch some TV. 530 am comes and I slept through the night so the was night one wasted. He comes out of his room and wakes me up (I passed out on the couch) and says "Dog, something ain't right, Ive been up all night crapping and puking and I got real bad stomach pains and my back is killing me." I ask him if he wants to go to the hospital and he says yes. So I get up and head down stairs to the car and put the GPS on and use my Spanglish understanding to get us down the street to the ambulance depot where they tell me where an actual clinic is. Which BTW is only like 400 meters down the street.
I walk in and we sit there for a minute and then a guy comes out and sees Matt. Matt proceeds to tell him whats wrong and then the guy looks at me and ask me in Spanish "What did he say" I was like great, I speak crappy Spanish and this guy speaks no English. Also I never found out if he was a nurse or a doctor. In any case we make our way to him understanding what Matts symptoms are and he tells us to wait out side. Then while outside another door opens up and its the treatment room. They let In and give him a couple of shots and and prescribe like for different meds and send him on his way. So I take him back home hes still complaining that hes in pain and I told him to give it a couple of hours before the meds kick in. While that's happening I'm going go for a run, pay the clinic, and to cook myself some breakfast.
I'm a half a pack deep into frying up some bacon when matt comes out of his room and says" Dog, I don't think this stuff is working I need to go a big hospital." Damn, all I wanted to do was fry up this bacon. So I tell him to wait just a little bit longer to see if the meds kick in and if they don't then will go. Which was EXACTLY the amount of time I needed to fry the rest of this bacon. Purely coincidence I assure you ;) Like clock work as soon as I put the first piece of salty goodness to my lips he comes out of the room and says lets go. Crap. Hes one of my oldest friends so I oblige but for anyone else I would have made them wait until after I ate. Dammit.
I head down stairs for the third time since 530 am and go to the front desk to find out our options for hospitals. The tell us a couple of different ones with all of something in common, they were far as fuck (scuse my french) So I write 2 down to go back and explain to Matt to give him options. One was a Marriott that had its own clinic which was close but according to the front desk was very expensive. The next was CIMA which was an Americanized hospital but over 60 miles away BACK in San Jose where the airport was. Matt picks CIMA. Double damn!!
So I drive him back to freaking San Jose through the mountains past all the live stock truck, tractors and chickens crossing the road. All the while hes moaning and groaning and flip flopping between the back and the front seats.
We pull up to the hospital and I tell him to go ahead on in and I'll come find him. I go and park the car and walk in and notice that this place was a far cry from the town clinic which I think doubled as the town vet/dentist. Cima was very clean and very modern and indistinguishable from what you would find here in the states. I knew that if he was really sick that he would be in good hands... mostly. So the doctor sees him and ask him whats wrong and he tells him, then tells the nurse to get him in a bed and start IV's and pain meds. Notice anything there? Right, I didn't have to translate this time. Good thing for Matt because being lost in translation is something you wouldn't want at this point in time. So the doc pokes and prods him some more and tells him the they are going to draw blood to do some test and then send him to get a sonogram and an x-ray done. A sonogram? He aint pregnant but what do I know...
Before all that though the meds start to kick in and Matt starts talking real reckless saying stuff like "Bro I feel great now I think we can go I wanna get out of here and hit a bar" "Um fool, didnt we just spend all morning trying take you to multiple places so you could be seen??" "Yeah I know." "Great so you're going to stay your ass here and make sure you aint going to die or some dumb shit like that." "Ok" "Damn right its ok. You stopped me from enjoying my bacon with all your belly aching."
Sooo, a couple more pokes and prods and inappropriate comments about the gel for the sonogram and the robe he put on, they tell us that he has most but not all of the criteria for appendicitis. Triple Damn!!! Well, there goes the trip. But at least hes in a good place to be seen. Now during all that I set up Groupme chat on his phone so that we could keep his girlfriend and mom in the loop as well. We had not phone access but all the internet we needed as the hospital had free WiFi. We then wait for about a half an hour for the surgeon to come out and tell us whether or not they will operate. He does and they will operate but before they do matts mom insist that the surgery is done by way of LAP which means 3 smaller incisions and way less surgery and recovery time. I talk to the doctor and that what the way the do it anyways. Its Saturday now and the doc says that he will be ready to leave the hospital by Sunday morning. Sweet, 2 whole days to salvage the vacay.
The take him up to surgery and I go and wait in his room. About 45 minutes pass and the surgeon calls and tells me that Matts out and the surgery went smoothly and that he will be in the post op recovery room for the next couple of hours and that I should go hang out at he multiplaza (big-ass mall) down the street and by the time I get back he should be in the room. He also says that Matt has to stay until at least monday or the insurance wont pay....DAMN DAMN DAMN!!!! I have to figure out how Im going to break this to Matt. I may as well go to the mall and think about it. So that's what I do. Let me tell you that mall was gianormas. Bigger than Tysons and from what I can tell Costa Rica is a land of beautiful people. Every where I looked there were women that were just smoking hot. It was disturbing at how many there were. Let me get back on track.
So I go back and Matt is sitting in his bed looking right as rain and I almost dont have the heart to tell him that he is now being held as a medical hostage until the insurance says he can leave. But I do and he has a minor freak out. Then the doc comes back in and tells the WHOLE truth. Which is they dont want to let him out until the insurance says that they will pay and that they cant get a hold of anyone before Monday because the insurance is closed on the weekends. And there is a possibilty that we may miss our flight because even if they talk to them on monday it may take up to 48 hours for his insurance to say that they will cover it. DAMN x 5!!! At this point Matt is now scheming with me on how to get him out of the hospital. His mom warns us that we ill never make it. Since shes a nurse I have to believe her. I spend the next hour talking him out of that too.
Saturday night comes and goes. I stay in the hospital in the room over night to keep him company. I take off the next day in the evening to head back to the hotel and get a fresh change of clothes and to see if I can take in a little night life. Besides the treacherous, rain soaked night time drive back to the condo I quickly find out that Jaco is not a happening place on Sunday I get up the next day cook the rest of the breakfast foods that were in the fridge and head out to yoga (as mentioned in the post before this) in the morning before I go pick Matt back up.
The rest of the trip (all 20 hours of it) go off with out a hitch. We go out for a little bit on Monday night but end up calling it a night at about 10 pm because the only thing worse than a Sunday night in Jaco is a Monday night in Jaco.
With all that being said the trip wasnt a total bust. I found out the following:
- I speak WAY more spanish than I give my self credit for.
- Bacon grease will pop and burn the shit out of you if you cook it at too high a temperature
- Said bacon grease will also pop out of the pan and land in a 2-3 foot radius and make a tile floor extremely slippery.
- Cold bacon grease sucks to clean up.
- They drive on the right side of the road in Costa Rica.
- They drive WAY slower than in the U.S.
- I have road rage when it comes to livestock trucks
- Gas is more expensive down there.
- So are groceries.
- If you are down there and get sick, skip the clinic and go straight to the hospital.
- There is American fast food everywhere.
- Coconuts are cheap. And tasty.
I mean what it came down to was, while not the most ideal conditions, hanging out with my boy that I dont get to see but a couple of times a year. And he survived. Im sure I learned more but Im tired of typing. If you have questions leave them in the comment box below.