edit - I planned on entering @foodfightfriday yesterday (Friday) but I was pulled over for being white instead. I had this contender ready to go when we left for the beach yesterday—I only needed to add a few more things and work on some edits. I didn’t foresee being harassed by local authorities for being white, consequently keeping us away from our Air B&B until after 10pm last night. So, I decided to enter it now, Saturday, what’s the big deal though, right? @intothewild knows what I mean, shooooooot. @grandadscookbook knows what I mean, so does @hery0823. Simple: Friday, food and Friday—that’s it! Two of the “F’s” in #fff, actually. Like bringing a Thanksgiving Turkey to the bar on St. Patrick’s Day—showing up to a Friday kitchen on Wednesday just doesn’t make sense. 😉
So, before I get into my contender that I had every intention of releasing yesterday (Friday), I’d like to share some of the events that led to this late entry—the one where I’m still pretty pissed off (can you tell?) and disappointed with the entire country of Costa Rica and all of the people in it. Not the two angels on the side of the road, though, nope! First things first, the truck overheated—that held us up about an hour.
Yeah, true story! On our way back from Playa Hermosa, the truck overheated—F’ing terrific! Oh, I didn’t tell you we originally intended to go to Uvita, did I? That was our first mistake, we went to Uvita with white flesh—blanco. After being stopped at both beach entries in Uvita by local park authorities who refused our entry onto a public beach until we paid 3,600 colones each ($12 USD) to enter, we went to Playa Hermosa. Entry fees to a provincial operated beach are acceptable, right? Like paying the parking meter, I couldn’t agree with you more—but! They can wipe their rectum with an entry fee that only pertains to white people while everyone with brown skin walks passed us, high-fiving and even laughing harmoniously with the local park ranger. Dear Uvita...
En route back to our Air B&B, we stopped at a market in Playa Hermosa for some grocery items—that held us up another hour. While the truck is full of groceries and roughly 115km (70 miles) from the apartment with nothing other than a few scattered houses along the side of the road, the truck overheated—thank God the sun was still out! We pulled over and did the only thing we could do without any reserve water on hand—popped the hood and allowed the radiator time to cool down. Not long after, an older gentleman on a bicycle peddled to us with an empty three liter (yes, 3) of Coca Cola in the basket on his handlebars. With the help of google translate, he offered to help us and went to neighboring houses to fill up his three liter bottle full of water for us. When he returned, he had a young kid with him, no older than 12 years old, they each had a three liter full of water for us. After releasing the pressure from the radiator and cooling the exterior of it, we were able to remove the cap, start the truck and begin adding water to it. Eventually we were up and running again, I repeated the only Spanish I’m competent saying: Dios te bendigas—we all shook hands and Pura Vida and I were back on the road!
55 kilometers later, no sunlight and not a street light for miles, we overheated again. Our previous encounter with the two angels on the side of the road left us with one of those three liter bottles full of water. After releasing the pressure again and allowing some time for the truck to cool down, we proceeded to add water to the radiator again and continued our journey to the apartment. With less than 5km to go, not even three miles from the apartment, we were stopped by local authorities wearing reflective bullet proof vests, full head and face gear, and assault rifles—now what?!
The brown people driving vehicles going in the opposite direction simply waved their brown hands and were signaled to continue driving. The brown people in the numerous cars both in front and behind us simply waved their brown hands and were signaled to continue driving. Enter @dandays and @puravidaville—“alto!!” We were directed to pull off the road and turn the engine off. It’s recommended to travel inside countries not of your origin with photocopies of your passport rather than the original for obvious reasons—it’s legal, as well as, a safe alternative considering the consequences of misplacing or losing your original.
“Pasaportes?” Asked the officer, to which I responded, “I have a copy of it right here.” In more ways than one, he said he isn’t interested in a photocopy and we’re breaking the law which is going to result in a ticket, his exact words were “it’s very expensive.” I explained I was only a few miles from the apartment and I could call someone to have them bring it to me but he wasn’t interested in that either. He then asked “where’s your implements?” “My what?” I asked, “sorry, I don’t understand implements?” He said “implements: reflective shirt, triangles and fire extinguisher.” I asked him if I could check the back, he agreed and moved aside so I could exit the vehicle, we walked around to the back and I opened the hatch.
I went all through the jack compartment, spare tire location, etc. to no avail—no ‘implements.’ I said, “I just had our vehicle inspected at Retive last week and wasn’t made aware of any implements, officer, Dios te bendigas.” His tone changed. “Do you want a ticket?” He asked. I said “I’m at your mercy.” I never said yes, or no, or how much, nothing. Dios te bendigas and I’m at your mercy is all I said. “You’re in violation of four laws: no passport, no reflective shirt, no triangles and no fire extinguisher, it’s going to be very expensive for you.” Again, I responded “I’m at your mercy,” at this point, I just wanted the ticket so I could get the overheating truck down the road another three miles to the apartment. “Would you like to go without a ticket?” The officer asked. “I’m at your mercy,” I must’ve said I’m at your mercy five more times. He finally gave me back my ID and vehicle inspection paperwork, told me I was free to go, turned his back and walked away from me. edit finished
Well, Pura Vida and I can add ‘border-hoppers’ to our profiles now. We crossed into Panama from Costa Rica on Tuesday or... maybe it was Wednesday? 🤔 Whatever day it was, we spent it in Panama and did a little bit of shopping, mostly for grocery items while touring all through the border town and, by doing so, we’ve extended our passports an additional 90 days so we don’t have to worry about being deported from anywhere on any day.
Then, last night, Thursday night, I’m certain it was Thursday—we had a falafel party across the street. For those of you who don’t know, if you can switch gangster for falafel in this 2Pac track, you’re a falafel gangster!
Pura Vida spent most of yesterday morning across the street, on the boat docks with our current Air B&B
pita host. They processed chickpeas, cassava flour, parsley, cilantro, garlic, onion, a handful of spices including nutmeg which is just a hideous idea (I’ll explain in a minute), no citrus (I’ll explain that, too), to form this huge bowl of falafel that we rolled into about 100 falafel balls that the girls were directed to resize (stay tuned for explanations), with 14 other people—a family of Swede’s, us Westerners, one woman from Budapest and a really cool guy from Russia.
When I say across the street at the docks, I mean a house boat converted into boat docks complete with a galley, showers, oversized living quarters, an additional floating Air B&B, outdoor sinks for cleaning fish, a BBQ area, the whole 9—it’s a really nice set up. Better yet, I’ll just show you, it’s the one with the green roof—that’s the floating Air B&B I was telling you about on the other side of the palm tree with the sailboat docked to it:
Once the falafel balls were re-rolled to our new hosts critically judgmental, passive aggressive and annoying, micro-managing personal preference, they began dumping them in the 360 degree deep fryer with about three inches of oil, a dozen falafels at a time, for precisely four minutes per dunk. I say “they” because as soon as
Kathy Pita (Pain in The you know what) directed the girls to re-size the falafels, I did what’s best for Pura Vida and I—excuse myself from the production process and simply take pictures the remainder of the evening because we have 19 more days here and my quick-witted mouth is the sharpest tool in the @foodfightfriday kitchen.
What’s a Pita without some pitas? Falafel stuffed pita bread with just enough room to pack all of this fresh produce, homemade tahini and tzatziki spread inside: Diced onion, cucumber and tomato. Shredded lettuce and cabbage, baked egg plant and hot, as in, way too hot for me hot sauce. Check out this prep station and constructed falafel pita represented by our hand model—@puravidaville:
This is where I originally left off—this is where I planned on returning to last night (Friday) so I could finish this contender and click the post button. That was before dealing with an overheating truck full of groceries as a white guy in a country full of pompous, arrogant white people who refuse to even learn the native language and, a civilization full of brown people who, in my opinion, have every right to be pissed—I don’t blame ‘em! Speaking of arrogant, pompous, white people—our new host is a pita! I picked up on that as soon as we arrived.
Upon entering our destination for the next 30 days, she didn’t step two feet inside the apartment before telling us how to open and close the front door, which latch to leave unlocked on each window individually, how to open and close the blinds at precisely what time of day and at the speed in which to operate the ceiling fans—I knew we were in for it!
As she showed us our bedroom, she proceeded to tell us at which exact temperature to leave the air conditioner, how to appropriately prop the bedroom door open and at what speed to operate the ceiling fan. I told her we were really tired from the drive and needed to unpack our things so we could take a nap—both Pura Vida and I put on a smiley face, shook her hand and said thank you, “thank you,” followed by a lock on the door as soon as she left—“deuces!”
This lady, Kathy, who we’ll refer to as Pita has three grown men, three, who bend, jump, obey and spring into action as soon as she twitches an eyelid—it’s so weird to observe. She’s surrounded herself with these men who rent her apartments and do as she says, when she says it. Well, she tried that same approach with Pura Vida as they were preparing the falafel and, needless to say, it didn’t go over well.
As soon as Pura Vida walked back in the apartment with her food processor in her arms, her exact words to me were “I’ll never do anything with Pita again—that F’ing sucked!” She told me how Pita meticulously micro managed every breath she took, even down to the assembly of her own food processor—God bless you, Pura Vida! When it was time for us to go down to the falafel party, it was down pouring rain so hard we couldn’t leave the balcony. Pita directed one of her servants to walk an umbrella over to us so we could join the festivities—“aye - aye, Pita!”
I watched her direct the Russian guy, a really cool guy by the way, multiple times on the grill: “It’s too hot, don’t put the pita there, flip the pita, you’re not doing it right, cut it like this.” He obeyed.
I watched her direct a Swede how to cut watermelon: “Go get the watermelon and cut it, chop it into cubes, the toothpicks are in the pantry, put the cubes in the bowl, each with their own toothpick and then splash some orange juice in it.” He obeyed.
In the meantime, she’s directing each of the kids there, five in total, how to pet, sit with, talk to and even look at the dogs. Each time one of the kids would pet a dogs ear or something, she’d say “they don’t like it when you do that, pet them like this,” followed by her own example how to pet a dog. They obeyed.
After rolling about 100 falafel balls with a couple of other really nice people, one woman from Sweden and another from Budapest, Pita came over and began taking apart each of the falafel balls we rolled because some were bigger than others—I walked away. I watched her re-roll each of the balls to the size of her liking while explaining all of the terrible consequences to be expected had we left the falafel balls alone. At this point, both Pura Vida and I just wanted to leave but we knew it was best if we stayed another 20 minutes and have at least one falafel pita first. The girls obeyed.
At the conclusion of the falafel pita show, we walked back across the street to our apartment (for another 18 days) and Pura Vida got down in the kitchen again—she whipped us up some nice cream: frozen blueberries, pineapple and coconut milk, topped with freshly ground almonds, sugar free chocolate chips and Oreo cookies:
I’ve had falafel in at least a half dozen different locations since we arrived in Costa Rica in January—the falafel from Thursday night was hands down, without a doubt, the most memorable yet! First impressions are everything and, I gotta be real with you, I’m looking forward to polling the audience where we should go next—Thailand and Taiwan are currently my one and two, but!! First things first—find a place to get our truck fixed, this should be fun—Dios te bendigas!
Click here for Tuesday.