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And now, on with the show...

Costa Rica Day 2, Part 2

A photo of Cynthia taking a pcture—recursion at work.

Selva Verde Lodge is known for having some of the best examples of rain forest flora and fauna in all of Costa Rica. In our first few minutes here we saw a giant iguana, a giant spider, some giant flowering plants, giant ants, and giant moths. I get the feeling that the rain forest has the same idea as Texas—take the normal stuff you'd expect to find, make it bigger, then double that.

Dave Marr and I have both been feeling quite tired, so we immediately set sights for sleep and enjoyed the only thing in the jungle that wasn't oversized—our slim single beds.

When I woke up it was a little after five in the evening and already dark. The sun sets sooner than later this close to the equator. You'd be apt to develop seasonal affective disorder here—unless you wake up at six in the morning to catch the daylight that falls into hours usually reserved for sleeping.

Before dinner we went on a night hike where we saw snakes, giant hairy spiders on the ground, giant spiders making webs, ants, black bees, millipedes, centipedes, poison dart frogs, tree frogs, walking stick bugs, and what seemed like billions of insects with funny Spanish names.

The best thing about the many insects was that they were all mating. Our guide was very shy when he'd point his flashlight at the mating bugs. "Oh, excuse me," he would say to the hundreds of copulating beetles that covered the felled tree. He would shine his light away and you could see him thinking about how to change the subject. Realizing that this might seem even more awkward, he would just tell the truth. He'd then face us and whisper, "They're, um, coupling right now." It was dark, but I could hear him blushing. I wonder what it says about the politeness of a person when they're afraid to embarrass insects.

I don't know about you, but nothing makes me as hungry as seeing thousands of bugs furiously boning down in a rain forest. So, mad with hunger I walked to the resort's restaurant area where I proceeded to pile mountains of Costa Rican food into my face.

So far on this trip the food Richter Scale has pretty much sat around bland and uninteresting with a few brief—almost instantaneous—peaks into the range of somewhat ambitious. Let me illustrate: Breakfast is beans and rice and eggs with fruit and juice. Lunch is a little meat and salad, beans and rice, with fruit and juice on the side. Dinner this evening was a little more exciting, as we got two choices of meats instead of just one. Of course, we were allowed to have our fill of beans, rice, fruit, and juice.

The thing about the food is that it just doesn't taste like much. I've seen salt and pepper shakers on the tables, but I think they might just be props—religious knick–knacks kept around to make Americans feel more at peace. Not only is the food lacking in spice, it isn't very spicy either. I was hoping for my mouth to feel like it was being stung by angry jellyfish—my taste buds brutally punished by locally grown hot peppers. No such luck. Perhaps they hate spices here? Or, maybe they just hate me.

After dinner we walked about a mile down a dark rural road to the local bar. The room was half the size of a high school assembly room, with ceilings adjusted for the shorter people of Central America. People inside sang karaoke and danced and drank guaro—a local alcohol made from fermented sugar. It was fun, but we felt somewhat separate from what was going on. This isn't surprising, as we didn't speak the language or have any idea of what the culture was all about.

But, it was fun nonetheless. But, only for so long. We walked back to our hotel and then got ourselves embroiled in a game of I Never. Of course the only thing we talked about was sex. Duh, what else is there to talk about in such a drinking game?

The highlight of my evening was when Jovino—very drunk at the time—stole the housecleaning cart and brought it into our room to be used as a prop. The prop was very effective, in that it entertained some drunk people for a few minutes.