san jose, san shmose

we’ve been in san jose less than 24 hours, and already i’m cranky.

at first i attributed it to sleep deprivation and extended travel. we’d spent 24 straight hours just getting to san jose, after an overnight bus from arequipa to lima, jumping in a taxi to the lima airport, and then a few hours via plane and bus to get into the city. the immigration woman was a bitch, we couldn’t even buy a guidebook until *after* we landed, and i was hot and sweaty and hadn’t really slept since we left arequipa. don’t let anyone ever tell you travelling is all glamour!

but this morning, well rested and fully caffeinated, i’ve put my finger on what the real problem is. the people of san jose are just rude. the few interactions i’ve even had so far, i’ve felt palpable hostility at being yet another gringa they have to deal with. they barely even bother trying to speak to me, and the guy at the bus station ticket window just pointed, printed my ticket and took my money without a single word. the immigration lady asked me if i spoke spanish, but when i couldn’t understand her slurry question about the flight, rather than trying to speak more clearly or simply, just rolled her eyes, stamped the passports and practically shoved our papers back at us. nice. the bus driver from the airport was speaking to j, who clearly didn’t understand what he was saying, but when i tried to get in on the conversation to clarify what was going on, ignored me and kept talking to jonno.

it’s made me angry and defensive and irritable. i know my spanish may not be perfect, but i can usually make myself understood and understand others. but it seems no one wants to make the effort. if they don’t like dealing with tourists… well, then tough shit. all i can say is they’re happy enough to take our money. if they’re sick of gringos, fine, don’t let us into the country. but it’s not just gringos i see lining up at the “kfc” and “pizza hut”. but i’ve never been treated so rudely as a visitor since we began this trip, and i think that’s saying a lot. if we stay here much longer, someone’s going to get a mangled earful of “mierdas”, “hijo de perros”, and “chingates”.

i’m tired of it and i just want to escape to the beach… luckily that’s the plan for tomorrow.

3 Responses to “san jose, san shmose”

  1. Kerry
    September 25th, 2006 20:52

    Hey….just checking in on ya. I’m quite envious of your round the world adventure. After reading your blog on San Jose…it reminds me that traveling isn’t always what we want it to be. Hoping you can look back on it sometime and smile.

    Enjoy this special time!

    Kerry from American Expats

  2. Jen
    September 25th, 2006 21:03

    awww, sorry you caught me bitching on a bad day!

    i have loved most everywhere we’ve been. the only place i really didn’t enjoy was saigon… and now san jose.

    other than that, i’ve really had the most amazing time. really! :D

  3. Amity
    September 27th, 2006 08:36

    Don’t feel bad for bitching — if in your entire journey you didn’t encounter any rude people it wouldn’t have been very real! Just proves that they exist everywhere. The part about the immigration lady rolling her eyes when you didn’t understand her Spanish made me wonder what it’s like for those who don’t speak English coming to the USA. I’m sure they get the same treatment.

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