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Thread: Costa Rica

  1. #1
    Educating Cyrus wuapinmon's Avatar
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    Costa Rica

    Costa Rica is the jewel of Central America. I talk about it quite a lot, and I'm living here with my family until the end of May. I'll be happy to share some photos, insights, and such with anyone who wishes. I know a bit about the place and could give anyone wishing to do so, a few options for an itinerary. Rather than repost my blog entries here, I'll just say that you can find my posts at http://wuapinmon.blogspot.com



    I'll try and add original stuff here and respond to questions.
    "This culture doesn't sell modesty. It sells "I am more modest than you" modesty." -- Two Utes

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    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Never been, wuap, only to Guatemala and El Salvador. I'd love to go back there and to visit the land of the Ticos. I had a number of mission friends (no companions) from there. How about beach resorts? I've heard there are some nice ones. Are your kids learning Spanish?

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

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    Educating Cyrus wuapinmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Never been, wuap, only to Guatemala and El Salvador. I'd love to go back there and to visit the land of the Ticos. I had a number of mission friends (no companions) from there. How about beach resorts? I've heard there are some nice ones. Are your kids learning Spanish?
    Beach resorts are too many to name them all. They are mostly on the Pacific side though. If I were going to a resort, I'd check out the beaches in Guanacaste (NW). The kids are enrolled in school here, and they're learning at a crippled snail's pace, save the baby--she has the gift. The oldest is too cool for school, and my son is so pathetically lazy that I can't believe he can look so much like me and yet be so much not like me. I was the eager-beaver know-it-all in school. He couldn't care less; he just wants to draw and make messes and eat. It's been a particularly hard time for the two oldest. But, the bishop of our ward is married to a sister missionary from our time here. They are both from Utah and their five kids (same ages as ours) are coming over tomorrow night and my home is currently abuzz with excitement about having a sleepover (in our hotel/house).
    "This culture doesn't sell modesty. It sells "I am more modest than you" modesty." -- Two Utes

  4. #4
    Celebrated my 50th birthday visiting Costa Rica a few years back. We enjoyed a few days at the beach near Tamarindo, spent a day hiking in the Rincon and then went on the zip lines in the rain forest. Had a great time and would love to go back.

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    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    Tell me about the comida. All I really know from central america is pupusas, and those are from el salvador.

    I'm sure there is a great variety of cheap, fresh fruit. What else?

    I'm pretty sure that latin american missionaries are the best fed missionaries in the world.

    Latin American cuisine power rankings:

    1) Mexican

    2) Peruvian

    3) Argentine

    4) Brasilian

    5) ????? Venezuela? Cuba?

    Yes, I am stuck late at work.
    Guacamole is a Guatemalan dish. That alone gives the land of the Chapines an honored place in the heirarchy of world cuisines.
    Last edited by LA Ute; 02-21-2014 at 08:56 AM.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  6. #6
    Educating Cyrus wuapinmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    Tell me about the comida.
    Latin American cuisine power rankings:

    1) Mexican

    2) Peruvian

    3) Argentine

    4) Brasilian

    5) ????? Venezuela? Cuba?

    Yes, I am stuck late at work.
    Costa Rican fare is simple and largely bland. They eat rice and beans for lunch, beans and rice for dinner, and for breakfast they pan fry the previous day's leftovers with onions, bell peppers, and manteca and call it "Gallo Pinto." That the staple, served with nearly every meal (including, for example, with spaghetti). They have a number of side dishes that are fun:

    barbudos = tiny omelettes with poached cauliflower or green beans inside.

    olla de carne = too many root stew. A mixture of about 10 root vegetables with large chunks of beef chuck, slow stewed with bay leaves and culantro coyote. It gets cold here at night in some places.

    ensalada rusa = potato salad that includes beets. It turns it a purple color. Tasty, but it never has enough salt.

    puré de papas = mashed potatoes with so much butter they're yellow. No foolin'

    picadillo = a hash of chayote, potato, onion, arracache, and ground beef. Delicious when done right. When they go cheap and used canned tuna instead of ground beef.

    Fried eggs. You'll laugh but I've never ever had better eggs than here. The yolks are bright orange, not yellow; I mean Sunkist Orange orange. They don't need anything but salt, and some rice and beans with a runny yolk is good stuff.

    Maduros = fried plantains when they're ripe...with some salt and natilla.....mmmmmmmm

    Patacones = green plantains cut into chunks, fried, smashed, and then fried again. Topped with creamed black beans and some Salsa Lizano (think creamy Worcestershire)

    That's about right. As far as LatAm cuisine goes.....Mexican is one of the top three in the world along with French and Chinese for complexity and variety. The others are all nice, but there's no comparing Mexican dishes with knowing how to roast meat well. Peru has some complex stuff, but their insistence on dousing all their meats in sauce turns me off.
    "This culture doesn't sell modesty. It sells "I am more modest than you" modesty." -- Two Utes

  7. #7
    Educating Cyrus wuapinmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    Speaking of international cuisine, does anyone else think tapas are fake? Spain looks around, realizes that France, Italy, and even Germany are known for food, realizes also that all it has is paella, and invents "tapas" in an attempt to create a brand.
    No, they're not. They've blossomed now into something bourgeois, but it used to be a workingman's treat at the end of the day. Much like coffee, it's been fetishized now so that something basic won't do; it's gotta be sophisticated.

    Funny story, in 1992, I was 18, in Europe, and I called my mom one afternoon to check in. No email or the like back then. When she asked what I was doing that night, we said we were going to a tapas bar. The ensuing bitching out I got still makes me laugh because she wouldn't slow down long enough to let me explain as she condemned me as my father's son and not a good Mormon and the like. I was just laughing into the phone the whole time. When she finally let me speak, she didn't apologize with anything more than an "Oh, well you shouldn't be going to a bar anyway."
    "This culture doesn't sell modesty. It sells "I am more modest than you" modesty." -- Two Utes

  8. #8
    Educating Cyrus wuapinmon's Avatar
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    I taught this little girl 20 years ago when she was 9. She never got baptized, but we've remained friends ever since. She and her husband came to visit us last weekend. One of the best parts of my mission, years out now, are the friendships. I don't even really talk to the people I baptized (50 of them), but the friendships have endured the test of time. You know a friendship is strong when you get together and don't just talk about the old times.

    "This culture doesn't sell modesty. It sells "I am more modest than you" modesty." -- Two Utes

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