Monday, August 27, 2007

Sharon: The Bungalow Boys and Why I Love Montezuma

So our trip has entered a new phase. Not surprisingly, the fact that we go home in five days has been coloring our experience for the past week or so. But what really came out of the blue to shake things up here were the Bungalow Boys.

Khalida and Asan have two small guest houses for rent on their property. [Shameless plug for them: One is a two BR, one a 1 BR, both built in gorgeous wood, some from their property, with windows all around and amazing views of the ocean. The 2BR rents for something like $700/month, and the 1BR for $275 a month! A perfect place for a retreat, and what a steal!] Last week, two 18-year-old guys from the States moved into the small house. In passing conversation, it came up that they have BABYSITTING experience, in fact have even taken Red Cross child care classes. It has also come to our attention that they are staying way out of town without a car, and that they seem to be a little bored. So...

Now we suddenly have energetic, English-speaking, live-in babysitters who are willing to do it for the CR rate of $2/hr. Shame this only came to our attention during our last week here, but we've already taken advantage of it by going out a few evenings, and we're going to leave our kids with them today so that Max and I can have one afternoon alone on the beach. They're great; the kids adore them, and they're super easy-going and flexible with us.

On the going-out note: Seems I have to write about Montezuma and our evening outings. Last Wednesday, Khalida and I went out to dinner with an old friend of mine from here, Ginette. Since I had kids, the latest I have been out in the evening is probably 11:00, and I usually go to bed by about 9:00 (the kids have taken to getting up at 4:45am, or so, with the tropical sun). So we assumed we'd go out for a leisurely dinner and be home by 10, maybe 10:30. After dinner we decided to head over to the bar in town, which also doubles as a discoteca now and plays loud music into the wee hours, for a drink. Who could have anticipated that the three married old ladies would have such a grand old time out on the town? Khalida is drop-dead beautiful, and the boys lined up to woo her, having no idea that they were stepping into a Stephen Colbert-like courting process in which she entertained us at their expense and they actually seemed to enjoy the wit. She came right out with the fact that we were married with kids, and led the conversation into such savory topics as breastfeeding without missing a beat. All this, while the random bar guys whisked us out onto the dance floor for some rapid-fire salsa and merengue that had them all asking, "But you're not from here, are you?" Before we knew it, the bar was closing, and we were sneaking into bed at 2:00am.

Which leads me to Why I Love Montezuma. Max and I were discussing this last night, as I was trying to pinpoint why I am so melancholy about leaving. Montezuma is technically a tiny, tiny remote village. There can't be more than 1000 permanent residents. So every day, just in doing errands or stopping into the bar, for example, you see the same friendly, familiar faces. But it's an international town, with a few fantastic restaurants, some interesting shopping, a really fun bar with great dancing, and a true international flavor: Italians and Argentinians predominating, but also with Germans, Canadians, and Gingos. The people-watching is phenomenal. Factor in the incredible natural beauty, and the slow pace of life, and it's pretty ideal already. But add to that a few solid friendships and strong local connections (since I lived with families who had been here for decades), and you can probably see why I feel like a piece of my soul will always live here.

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