Jose is the man in my life, my novio, my boyfriend. He found me after a Saturday night of dancing, when Susan and I made our pilgrimage to El Coco at midnight for a last drink and ceviche. Jose positioned himself next to my chair, and asked me to dance. The dance floor at El Coco is tiny and the speakers are huge, so I am always hesitant to dance there, but here was a new, good-looking guy asking me to dance, so I said yes. That was almost four weeks ago, and we've been enjoying each other's company since then.
So last Sunday we headed out to Ciudad Colon to watch the races. There were hundreds of people there, mostly young guys and Red Cross workers, all watching the muddy racetrack. The first race was motocross - dirt bike racing over a dirt track and mud puddles. It wasn't too bad. I got into the swing of things. The sun was beating down and it was a nice day to be outside. The next race was for stock cars. Jose's cousin Ivan was racing #38, so that's who we rooted for. We walked around the track to get a better view, and ran into one of Jose's siblings (he has seven), Marielos and her husband Juan Carlos, who is a lawyer, and their kids. We stood with them while we cheered on Ivan.
Earlier that morning at the feria, Jose had bought a bag of mamon chinos, a small, red prickly nugget that you open to eat the lychee-nut-like fruit inside. They get to be sticky and messy. We brought the mamon chinos to the races, but after eating all we could eat, Jose wanted to get rid of them. There were still a lot left, so I went around to all the Red Cross workers and offered them mamon chinos until the fruit was all gone.
Then it started to drizzle, and Jose's family and we huddled together. When the heavens let loose, we ran for the exit and agreed to meet at Pizza Hut. This was the first time I had set foot in a Pizza Hut in Costa Rica. They are all over the place, but my favorite pizza is made in a little hole in the wall in Cariari.
At Pizza Hut I got to know Marielos and her husband, who offered to help me with my residency problem (too long and stressful to go into here). They are very nice people, and Marielos said I would see her again Tuesday night at Latin dance class.
Because we left the racetrack early, we never did see the second stock car race or the final highlight: the destruction of the race cars, which was just fine with me.
Jose and me
Gentlemen, Start Your Engines