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Back in NYC for one month

Yesterday I arrived in NYC. Back to civilization, I guess, as far as NYC is civilized. Let's recall some events:

I go surfing in the morning before I head out, the swell is gone so it's more of a swim in a lake. However, two friends who have been living in Nicaragua are in the water, and we realize that we are taking the same flight back to the city. We drive to the airport together, and run into two more recent acquaintances who are also on our flight. The two new people are two ladies from NYC, who had a bad event the night prior that caused them to leave CR early.

Two men had cut their power from outside and tried to break into the house the ladies had rented on AirBNB in the middle of Tamarindo. Who would have thought nice CSS ontop of craigslist does not make craiglists any safer? Luckily they had some guy friends over and were okay.

But after leaving their AirBNB a day early, their "landlord" had the balls to ask them to leave them a good review. "Yeah we were almost raped and kidnapped in our own home, but hey the hot water was kinda working." - Four stars!

But here's what will likely happen: the two ladies will leave a horrible review on AirBNB, the landlords will have to create a new account, and the story of the breakin will disappear from AirBNB one way or another. How has trusting a central authority to manage reputation networks worked for you lately?

So back to the trip: the flight thing happens, we land and ten minutes of customs and twenty minutes of cab driving later i am back in my mother's home. The apartment is absolutely gorgeous, everything is clean and chiva and my home felt welcoming in the way only a mother could make it. My brother gave me a wonderful present, an old authentic Costa Rican soccer jersey. I put it on and look in the mirror - boy have I changed in the last year. Seeing myself in the mirror in NYC is much different then seeing myself in the mirror in Costa Rica.

When I look at myself in the mirror in Costa Rica, there is less of a sense of psychological contrast. In Costa Rica my sun-made blonde hair and tanned skin is normal and it's what I always see when I look in the mirror. Here I can contrast the way I look now with the memories I have of myself in the same mirror from when I was younger.

After a few minutes of hugs kisses and gift exchanging, I pull out my weapon and begin to tune it. I think that the act of tuning the guitar in front of my mother and brother had the same or more effect than my playing the guitar itself. I could watch their eyes widen as they heard the loud low E string rumble through my bedroom. After I played a few songs (Silent Night, Etude in C Major by Tarrega) I knew it was time to get off stage as my mother was tired and my brother wanted to talk instead of here me play.

I slept in that night, got up at around 11am and then started immediately getting the things I needed to get done, done. I scheduled an appointment with Apple to have them fix my broken laptop battery. This story goes back.. I committed the great sin of trying to fix my own Apple computer myself by taking out the battery and replacing it, which made Apple refuse t service the laptop since when I gave it to them I did not have the original battery. So I brought it back from Costa Rica, and now hopefully I'll be able to have The Company revive my laptop that just needs a new fucking battery.

After that was done it was off to lunch with my dad, we went Le Pain Quotidien to have a cup of coffee each, a waffle for him and a piece of salmon and an egg for me for $45. Yes you read that right: two coffees, a slice of salmon and an egg and a waffle for $45. Yes the salmon for some reason came with a huge stack of plain bread next to it, am i supposed to eat that? So I can look like the 50 or so hamplanets that are sitting in the restaurant? Yeah, no thanks.

Conversation at breakfast was the usual sort with my dad, we talked about my childhood and things that he wished he had done differently raising me. Primarily this was talking about wishing he had insisted that my Brazilian nanny growing up had taught me her native language, Portuguese. He told me that my pediatricians, who he described as isolationists, all insisted that it was bad for my development to have to process learning two languages. Off to the gallows with them...

The morning ending with a trip to Barnes and Nobles to overpay for some printed books. Yeah I can read on my kindle and yeah I can read anything for free on my computer, but I do like the feeling of real paper and paying for a book psychologically pushes me to read it. What can i say, as far as I can tell I have to play dumb tricks on myself to get myself to do what I want to do. The books I bought were: Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky and Portrait of a Young Man as an Artist and Ulysses by James Joice.

I walked home by myself after that, and being unsatisfied from breakfast went to relive an old habit of getting some shitty pizza. I bought two broccoli and chicken slices at Famiglia Pizza for $9, After I ate the two slices I nearly threw up. My stomach still feels quite uncomfortable an hour or more later as I write this post. I'll have to get to practicing making what I usually eat in Costa Rica - a $5 casado: fish, rice and beans, a salad, and a few plantain slices.

For what it's worth, it's nice to be back home in NYC. I plan to bring the Pura Vida here, hopefully I'll manage to get a few souls to stop staring at their dumbPhones for a few extra minutes. Having access to any item I want from thousands of stores, something not quite possible in Guanacaste, is quite nice. I'll try to stock up and make some good progress on Apollo with the extra time I'll have from not surfing.

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