1. BUSES and PUBLIC TRANSPORT: The best I have experienced so far. You can get from the middle of nowhere to another middle of nowhere by any anything. It’s cheap, easy and the bus drivers drop you off by request. The taxis are super cheap and they are everywhere. Just look for the official ones.
2. DANCING: I haven’t had a chance to go out besides on the Carribean side but I haven’t danced with a single man who can dance. Peper’s Dance Club in San Jose is a good option and Merecumbe has fun dance classes
3. DIRRECTIONS and SLANG: There are no street names or numbers. When you ask a local how to get to a place it feels you are in a Vikings game. Not only can’t they explain how to get places but also talk to you in pure slang. Although, when you get to the final destination you feel like a HERO!
-agarre la lata (take a bus)
-agarre un pirate (take a taxi)
-la harina (Money)
-tomar yodo(drink coffee) There are bunch of other really fun one
4. FOOD: Rice and beans, empanadas for breakfast and cafesito.
5. MEN and WALKING ON THE STREET: My morning normally starts with roof workers yelling to me on the way to school “Buenos Dias Preciosa.” Other things I heard so far: “If the angels were falling from the sky that would be you.” “Que bonita!” “Hello Beautiful” etc… Basically if you wear anything about the knee length you are noticed.
6. PEOPLE (TICOS) : Have beautiful smiles, very helpful, happy and nice. Love them!
7. RELIGION: It feels it’s everywhere starting from each and every bus to almost each and every conversation you can have with almost every local. “Gracias a Dios” is a widely common expression.
8. SAFETY: Keeping the bag in front of you and hiding the passport in a money belt are necessary. Walking after dark is unsafe. 7:30sh pm is the cut-off time for me. I am literally running from the bus to the house keeping pepper spray and keys in hands after my dance classes.
9. SHOES: Last for about 3 hours if bought new. The quality of streets are poor and the walking is intensive.
10. VOLUNTEERING: I spent 5 days volunteering at a kindergarten for low income families. The intention was to help with kids and teach them a bit of English. It ended up being a bunch of cleaning, swapping, and mopping. After day 5 I refused to come back and went to help world-based organization where we taught English to a few street ladies. That was a blast.