Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Costa Rica

This was one of my best trips into tropics. Imagine a country that can serve as a backdrop to Avatar's Pandora: intensely green jungles, steep wooded mountains and active volcanos. Costaricans say that they have tremors every two weeks. As we stayed there for one week (June 12 to 19, 2010) we felt no earthquakes. (We felt it, however, today in Toronto.)

Arenal Volcano

Below: Riu Guanacaste Hotel completed in 2009. A high-technology installation amidst the jungle.  

And a short story, real with a little pinch of fiction: 

We were flying to Costa Rica. To start a small talk I asked a young air hostess about the amount of the departure fee when leaving Costa Rica and she said: "You know, I have no idea, I am working this flight for the first time. I will ask our senior hostess to come and tell you." - "OK"- I said. The senior hostess never came and I thought that the young hostess simply forgot to ask her. 

Some fifteen minutes after the senior hostess was passing by and I asked her, just to start a small talk, if she knew what was the time difference between Toronto and Costa Rica and she apologized and said: "You know, I'm flying this route for the first time. I'll go and ask our captain and then tell you." - "All right" - I said. She came back later and informed me that there was one hour difference (In fact, it was two hours, but it's OK: at least she or the captain tried.)   

And then I just thought that if I go to the captain and ask him something like if he knew that the Boeing he was operating was sufficiently safe and he would reply that he was flying this machine for the first time, therefore, he didn't know... I decided not to.     

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