Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bus from Costa Rica to Panama

The bus is comfortable, except for the movies showing constantly. The first two were shown quietly in English with subtitles in Spanish, now we’re  enduring big momma’s house in Spanish at full volume.
After 3 weeks of peaceful life on the farm, away from any TV or modern distractions we’re on our way to adventures in Panama. We’ve taken for granted the hydroelectricity, home grown grains, vegetables, and milk, kirtans and group study morning and evening, we’ve forgotten how the rest of the world lives and are now thrust into the silliness of Hollywood.
Leaving San José at noon, the bus is scheduled to arrive the next day at 4 AM , 16 hours  making it a bargain at $2 an hour for the ride.
We stopped to buy fruit before boarding;  papaya, a large chickoo, though they called it something else, grenada, avocado, small sweet bananas.  They make a lot of sweets similar to burfi from milk, though we didn’t try any this time.
It’s a pretty friendly place for vegetarians if you don’t mind black beans and rice which is available everywhere, even at the bus stop on the ride down. $2 buys a healthy sized plate.
After waiting 2 hours in 3 lines to cross the border into Panama, then bouncing through the night trying to sleep, I was beginning to wonder if we were having  fun yet.
The bus finally approached the terminal, an hour later than scheduled. I felt sorry for the devotees who had rushed out to meet us at 4 AM giving up their precious morning quiet to wait for a bus that refused to show up. “How are they going to recognize us?” Narayan asked. “They will” My head was not even half way out the bus door when I spotted a hand waving to me. Though we had never met, we instantly felt like old friends, completely at ease together as we picked out our luggage and headed for their car.
Shyamachandra and his wife RadhaGovinda  expressed no complaints about the late running bus and seemed genuinely happy to have us in their home.
It was a slight culture shock to resist the habit of shaking out each pillow and stripping down the bed in search of scorpions or other minor pests. (Narayan found a scorpion in his sweatshirt the second day on the farm.)

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