May 18, 2012

A Day Just Like Any Other

6:00 AM. The alarm on my phone goes off. I blindly reach under my pillow to shut it off, but can't seem to find it. I reach around some more. The beeps continue. I force myself to open my eyes. I become aware that the reason I can't find my phone is that I (and my pillow) have somehow become oriented with my head at the foot of my bed. I flop back to my usual position, find my phone, and silence it. I struggle to sit up, then to pull myself out from the blanket cacoon I've made myself.

I stand up. As always I'm surprised at how it's not actually cold once I'm out from the blankets, a feeling I've somehow held on to since leaving Maryland in the dead of Winter. I head out of my room to the kitchen/dining room region of the house. My host mom's off doing something, but there's a plate of home made bread and tamal asado on the table and a pot of coffee. I pour myself a mug, adding powdered creamer and sugar, then sit down to eat. My host mom comes in, says good morning, and then goes in to give my host sister her first wake up warning.

I grab my clothes for the day then head into the bathroom to shower. I head right back out because I realise I forgot to flip the power switch so that I can have hot water. Finally get to my shower. Get dressed, count out 180 colones for the bus, make sure I have my phone in my bag and head for the door.

7:20 AM. The bus to San Ramon approaches the stop, but doesn't show signs of slowing down. The bus driver smiles at me and holds up two fingers to let me know that there's another, less full, bus a little bit behind him. I don't mind waiting another 5 minutes or so if it means that I have a chance at a seat and not just a spot in an already overcroweded aisle. The second green and white school-turned-public bus comes by, and sure enough there's some space open in the back. I stear clear of the seat right in front of the ever open back door, still scared of falling out as the bus bumps around corners. A few stops later a guy about my age in the pink school uniform shirts of one of the near by colegios takes the seat next to mine, but neither of us says anything. The bus stops in the main bus stop in San Ramón and we all get off. I make my way to the park to sit and kill some time.

8:00 AM. I head over to SiNEM, a walk that takes all of 2 minutes. The door's locked, so I'm once again the first person there. I wait out side. People walking by look twice at me, the gringa just chilling out outside a shut door. Finally Jackie, the secretary, shows up and unlocks the door. She runs to the alarm to disarm it before it starts to make noise. I drop my bag off under the counter in the office area and then start to collect all the folding chairs and music stands from the orchestra rehearsal last night.

Jackie says that there isn't much for me to do until José, the guard, gets here and I help him put plaques on music stands, so until then I can play piano or go online or whatever. I grab my sheet music and head up to the piano in the back corner of the balcony, the one with the least amount of sticky keys. I end up playing for a while.

12:00 PM. Lunch time. I grab my bag and head to the park to eat my lunch and listen to some music. One  of the stray dogs running around lies down near me and eyes my food with longing. I keep my distance, unsure of how safe he is.

1:30 PM. José finally shows up. After saying hello he starts wailing about how it's un día menos for me in Costa Rica. I laugh it off, and say that I'm not leaving until Julio, but in the back of my head I know that it's less than 7 weeks away. I start taking music stands out of boxes and marking them with white out where José needs to drill holes for the plaques.

3:00 PM. Yinni, the do-everything woman of SiNEM, calls from upstairs that it's time for coffee. Everyone sits together at the little table in the closest thing to a staff lounge that the school has. They ask me to tell my talking donkey joke to Alvaro, the piano teacher, and the only one that hasn't heard it yet. The guitar teacher talks about the upcoming Champions League final game. They tell me to eat more.

4:30 PM. I head back to the bus stop. There's already a long line even though the bus doesn't come for another 15 minutes. I check with someone to make sure that this is the line for Piadades Sur. It is. The bus comes, and the driver asks everyone what stop they get off at. He looks at me and says "Barranca?". "Si." I find a seat on the right side of the bus. If I sit on the left I don't see the sign for a rabbit farm that lets me know I'm close to my stop. The bus leaves the station.

A few stops down my sister Ivania gets on. Luckily, the seat next to me is still empty. We talk a bit. When we near our stop, she makes me decide when to pull the chord just to see if I know where we get off. I do. We pay then head home.

7:30 PM. Ivania and I are in the parent's room watching TV while she works on some homework. This is the only TV with cable. My host mom calls us out for dinner. She already has plates of rice, beans, some form of meat, and platanos on the table. She pours us glasses of fresh fruit refresco, and we all start to eat. My host dad teases me about eating quickly, and I bury my face in my hands and pretend to sob. Ivania has to go study, so we all disperse. I grab my copy of Comer Rezar Amar I've been working my way through and try to get through another segment.

9:30 PM. I can't keep my eyes open anymore, so I say Buenas Noches and fall into bed.


1 comment:

  1. Just found your blog so now I'm with you again! Like I'm in CR with a fmily! Love it!