Once I finally got back to the airport I still had another 4.5 hours to kill and was super jittery from all the caffeine. There were no water fountains in the entire wing of the airport and I didn't want to have to go through TSA again so I didn't have any water until I found a soda machine with a water tab. Once I started drinking water it was like I had opened some sort of floodgates and I had to use the restrooms every fifteen mins to pee. I then proceeded to try and sleep on the plane, which I was woken up from with two pieces of paper being shoved into my face...In a cold sweat and with no idea what was happening a fellow traveler offered me some assistance, we chatted most of the rest of the flight and his parents who were meeting him at the airport offered me a ride to the east end of San Jose (closer than the airport).
So my adventure started...driving in Costa Rica is hectic, my fellow traveler's father was weaving in and out of lanes just like everyone else in what felt very chaotic to me, yet he was doing it with a smile and recommending places for me to go and check out. The country-side was stunning with lush green jungle and mountains EVERYWHERE around you. I took a cab the rest of the way to my hostel because this city is very overwhelming and doesn't have proper street signs, mind you I have no phone/gps at this point. The cab driver spoke no english and yet the entire ride he wanted to talk to me en espanol. It hit me like a ton of bricks that communication was going to be brutal for a while. I made it to the hostel and was immediately relieved to speak to a single traveler who spoke fluent english/spanish/and dutch, we exchanged pleasantries and I went inside...
The hostel is awesome, I felt comfortable here with my surroundings and the people immediately, the front desk girl (Gaby) was extremely helpful not to mention pretty cute! She told me everything I needed to know about the hostel and so I unpacked and stored most of my valuables in a safe/lockroom. I then asked about banks to get some local currency (colones), Gaby mentioned a mall, I was about to take off and it started to pour (it's still raining and isn't gonna stop for days probably haha). Oh well, it is still warm here and so I went to the mall, the bank tellers spoke no english, a man tried to help me with the ATM and my card was denied. Came back to the hostel, spoke with my bank, should be good to go now! Luckily everyone here takes US currency as well, but the exchange is somewhere around 550 colones per 1 US dollar, so you get better rates using colones. Change can be very confusing (you have to divide everything by 550 in your head). Things are going well for the most part though, lots more to come.
I'm still nervous to break out my camera as it seems like it can attract attention, but I will try to take some photos to post soon!