We read up a fair amount before taking off for these foreign climes, so we might understand the culture we were about to explore. We read and were told that there is a thing called Tico-Time! People of Costa Rica are very friendly and laid back. We were told that if you want someone to show up, they may not be on time (at least not Western time, but on Tico-Time). We never found this, everyone was very punctual. However, whilst waiting for a ferry as we traveled from Curu to San Jose, I was in a line with a bunch of people from all over and learned another part of Tico-Time. This was my second time in the line, getting a second cup of Costa Rican coffee (in my mind, the best coffee on the planet - even the bad ferry port coffee was really good). The line was not moving fast due to some of the none Spanish speaking tourists who panic and look blankly at the Costa Rican's with wide eyes! One guy was getting really up-set. The ferry was close to leaving, but I watched the three folk in front of me fuddle their way through their breakfast order and get to the check out. Meanwhile the other guy, Mr. Upset, was getting more and more agitated. In the end he leaned between the group of men and me, jumping the line in quite a major way, ordered a soda, paid and left. On the ferry I saw him and discovered he was not a native, but an American! He was the only one NOT chilled out and NOT on Tico-Time. I guess he was starting his vacation, or had lost some surfing contest!
Curu Refuge I noticed a hermit crab climbing over the rocks and stones. As I sat still and watched this little fellow make his way along the shore, I noticed another, and another. Then, as I broadened my view, I realized the rocks were a hive of activity with hundreds of hermit crabs moving around almost invisible blending into the rocks and stones they traveled over.
In the forest we heard rustling. Turning around to our sides we saw a very different crab. These crabs were blue or purple in their bodies, with bright orange or red legs - not water crabs, but forest crabs - congrejo. They rattled over the dry forest leaves and fallen palm fronds. Hundreds of them, running and hiding or bolting back into the holes they lived in. We realized that first evening there that the holes around our cabina were not lizard holes, but homes for these crab. We came back to find the concrete floored porch, and screen door covered in the congrejos. It was like a sci-fi movie or Hitchcock film as we chased them away and they rattled and clattered back to their burrows.
The sounds, once you got used to them, were like songs, the sites like a dance. The scuttling crabs, the howlers had their language and at first we were wide-eyed. But the more we listened, the more we heard the songs and understood the language: the songs of the birds, the songs of the fish, the dance of the incredible flora and exotic birds, the songs of the forests and the songs of the people and the beautiful dances their joyful faces made. I have a desire to return to Costa Rica and learn Spanish. Not in that order!