Friday, June 12, 2009

So modern...

We have a new highway. A super-duper, wider, newly paved and newly lighted highway from San Jose to Piedades, heading out toward Orotina and the Pacific coast. We have new highway signs, and even a big lit-up thing that is supposed to tell you things like highway closures or where roadwork is happening, but at the moment only gives you the name of the company that built the highway and the number you can call to complain about the increase in toll.

Costa Ricans, in general, are cheap. The toll used to be 75 colones (around 15 cents), charged only in one direction, with no charge during rush hours. Now it's up to 310 colones (around 75 cents), charged in both directions and during rush hours. I am not one to carry cash (like, ever! which is maybe not the best habit to be in), so I didn't have 310 colones on me this morning when I went over to C.'s place and then the one-and-only English-language library in the Central Valley. This was a mistake, as, even though there are 20 or so brand-new toll booths, none of them take credit/debit cards. So, I instead got off the highway at Guachipelin in Escazu and went the back way to Pavas.

The traffic was outrageous. It took me something like 45 minutes just from Guachi to Pavas at 11 in the morning. It would have probably taken 10 minutes on the highway, had I only brought change. (Note to self: Throw some change in the car!) Because Costa Ricans are cheap, many of them who would otherwise have taken the 75-colones highway are taking the back road and avoiding the charge altogether. Or, perhaps it's not that they're cheap, but that they're protesting the ridiculousness of the toll increase by inconvienencing themselves and others on the back road. Either way, avoid it at all costs. Pay that 310 colones both directions, seriously. It's worth it. There was almost no traffic on the highway on the way back (thanks to C2.'s lending me 310 colones, I could actually take the highway back home!), and that's definitely a nice change from the way things used to be a year or so ago before all of the roadwork began.

Anyway. I wanted to tell you about the little library. You might already know about it, but if not, the Lexicon Lending Library is over behind UCI Med in Pavas. It's not big, but it does have a nice little children's section (very little) and some decent novels. I'm not normally short of reading material, but I needed to find some stories for a project I'm working on, so besides the net, it was the first place I thought of. Anyway, check it out if you are in the area, and if you have books you don't know what to do with, consider donating them to the library. Membership for a year is only 5,000, and the people who run the place are very nice.

No comments:

Post a Comment