And boy do I regret it.
At 8pm, I put all my clothes in the washing machine, start the cycle, and walk away. I come back at 9pm, and instead of the clean spun-out clothes I was expecting, I find my clothes are covered in dirty, detergenty-looking water which won’t drain, which never agitated, and which I can’t seem to fix no matter what I do.
While this is an annoyance, it normally wouldn’t be that big of a deal. However, I need to catch my bus to Costa Rica in slightly over 8 hours, and 80% of my entire wardrobe is now soaking wet covered in detergent.
I didn’t have much of a choice, so I carried the sopping-wet clothing to my shower and dumped them into a haphazard pile on the shower floor. I turned on the shower and lightning-quick-hand-washed them one by one to at least get the worst of the dirt/sweat out, and to rinse off the detergent.
After that, I wrung them out as much as I could, and carried them back to the dryer. I heaved my clothes into the dryer, now thoroughly annoyed, and well after 10pm, and froze when a terrifying thought suddenly hit me. “What if the dryer doesn’t work either?”
I swallowed my heart down from my throat, and pushed the “start” button on the dryer, and thank God it did work. I just about fainted from relief at that point. I was annoyed, I had a gazillion things to do, I was tired, and I had to get up at ungodly-early-o’clock to catch the bus.
That’s when the fun really started.
The person I’m staying with came downstairs from her room at that point. She chided me for having too many lights on, and for using the dryer and for having turned on the air conditioner for 15 minutes earlier in the night, saying that she was unable to sleep due to all the loud noise I was making. I mentioned that there had been a very loud, boisterous argument directly outside our front door just a few minutes ago, and that that was probably what had woken her. She assured me that she heard none of that, but that my noise was keeping her awake “all night.”
Nonplussed at the above, I mentioned the washer had stopped working, and that I’d just spent two hours cleaning the clothing I thought the machine would magically take care of for me, thinking I would get some sympathy, a violin playing, or at least an “I’m sorry,” since her machine failed at such an inopportune time for me.
Instead, she became visibly angry, saying that I had maliciously broken the washer, and that she shouldn’t take renters anymore, because “it always costs me more in the things they break than what they give me.” She also became angry about some other things that I won’t bother mentioning here, but it was a remarkably uncomfortable situation for me.
I’m not sure what the issue was, but I know it had nothing to do with me, so I picked my jaw up off the floor, internally shrugged my shoulders, went back into my room, closed the door, finished packing, eventually removed my dry clothes from the dryer, and gratefully got my measly three hours of sleep for the night.
Up To Catch The 6am Bus
They had told me bus would leave at 6am, so this being Latin America, the bus left sometime between 7 and 8am. I spent my pre-bus morning hanging out at the bus station with a Guatemalan man named Cristian doing his PhD on Ecology at a Spanish university doing field work in Mexico. We spent nearly an hour discussing
Azorean and Brazilian ecosystems. You know, like you do.
The bus ride itself was uneventful, and after crossing the border without incident, I arrived in San Jose Costa Rica some 10 hours later.
To The Heart Center: Country Inn & Suites San Jose
From the receptionist, to the bellhop, to the janitorial staff, to the construction workers, to the wait staff, every single human being that I met upon arrival simply radiated contentment, happiness, beauty, vibrancy and love. It was like I was in a love energy vortex in the middle of Sedona, except that these were “normal” Costa Rican people, not middle-aged women with purple streaks in their hair and a penchant for chanting and dancing naked under the moonlight.
Not two minutes after I was shown to my room, someone knocked on my door. It was the two wait staff from the restaurant, who had brought a tres leches cake for me, with shaved chocolate and strawberries on top. Granted I’m not that big on dairy, especially milk, as I’ve noticed it gives me a hard time breathing and exacerbates my allergies. Furthermore, I was already coughing like a maniac and having a full-on asthma attack due to whatever overpowering scent they had sprayed to make the room smell fresh.
I was delighted, though. I took a hit off my inhaler, waved away their concerns about my breathing, since I knew it would be fine, and gratefully accepted their welcoming gift. I felt touched, and loved by the universe – I had barely eaten all day due to the long bus ride from Nicaragua, and I can be exceedingly unpleasant to be around when I am hungry (or hangry).
That was the best damned tres leches cake I have ever had in my life.