I don’t know if anyone who has never left the U.S. realizes how rare it actually is to have such a clear and sharp division between residential and commercial in a city, as we do in the states. You come to expect and accept that when you look over a city, like we are here where we’re staying in Costa Rica, what you’re looking at is city, that there are neighborhoods and a city center for the most part, that there is a very clear cut commercial part of the town, centered together, and that’s the city. Sure, there are apartments over the shops, maybe one block here and there amongst the business blocks is residential, but there’s a distinction. You rarely if ever have a residence one door over from a business, and if you do its clearly deliniated with signs and difference in appearance.
What you don’t expect is that the mass of the city is just a labyrinth of narrow streets and mostly similar unbroken strings of buildings, where some are unmarked businesses, most are residences, and some are both. You don’t expect there to be no clear “business district” or “downtown.” Jess tells me this is basically how it is in most of the world, it’s just the U.S. that’s different. Claiming my thus far untravelled naivete here. Last night we went to a seemingly hole in the wall adobe eatery in the center of San Jose which served, I was told, the best Costa Rican soul food around. And boy were they right. I still don’t know the same of it, they didn’t have a sign I could see. Next door was a home that doubled as a veterinary clinic. Mostly, from what I could see, it was residences, tho considering this place came out of nowhere I certainly can’t be sure of it.