May 22. Tampa-man

At the border with Costa Rica, a connection to San José is waiting for us. It’s business as usual: we get through the immigration smoothly with our western passports where some locals are thoroughly checked. The immigration takes some patience, but after two hours we can continue our voyage. The Costarican countryside we drive through is beautiful by the way. I just gaze at it until I get very hungry and my neck hurts like hell. There is an old lady in our bus with an almost indescribable depressing look on her face. She hangs around in the terminal in isolation, scaring off the cockroaches.
In San José we hear that the last bus to Nicaragua has already left, so we accept the taxi driver’s offer to take us to (his friend’s) hostel “backpacker”. The outlooks of the city are boring, considered it’s the capital. I decide I won’t stay here for long.

There is a man from Florida in our hostel and he is watching sexually provocative websites. When we introduce he says he is from Uranus, visiting earth on a vacation. It doesn’t take me long to find out he is really from Tampa, Florida. It has been a long time I’ve seen such a depressing male character (the female counterpart was on our bus).

Tampa-man just hangs around. His days consist of watching tv in the darkened public room and walking back and forth to the computer and the billiards table with the stump cues.

A friendly bunch of cats sits on a bench outside. They look really lovely. I take a nice picture of them.

I mean, the tip of a cue looks more like an unkempt Hottentot haircut. It is so demoralizing. So this is what it looks like, this is the end of the line. This is where we all go to? Moving sluggishly between a crappy pool table and the color-tv in our worn-out blue jeans? It looks so inevitable, like we can’t elude this. Every second on the hostel clock that hangs upside-down in the corner takes us closer to this numb state of mind.

Daniel and I eat delicious Japanese kebab’s with six different kinds of sauces that night. We talk about traveling and understand each other pretty well, I find.

Tampa-man is sitting on the couch when we come back. It’s raining now, we can hear the drops ticking sadly on the attic roof. We have some local “Pilsen”-beer but it tastes bad. Tampa-man walks back to the computer.

We watch a feelgood movie that night; we enjoy laughing about all the hilarious scenes. The movie is very colorful and light and sweet.

The lights go out. Tampa-man complains with a cracking voice. He is paying for this. He walks up the stairs grumbling and shaking his head. No-one will say goodnight to him.

Dan and Karina will leave earlier than me tomorrow morning.

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