The immigration line at Juan Santamaria snaked out of the holding tank, reaching the gates. There were some 400 of us extranjeros who´d just arrived on various US flights ill-timed to bottleneck the halls. We were eager, we were tourists. We were retired people, backpackers, couples (many of them honeymooners), tour groups, independent travelers, long-lost Ticos with Californian habits, missionaries and land grabbers. We wore moneybelts and carried guidebooks: we were ready to discover something.
The first half-hour meant good-natured groans. But the rumbings grew. Those behind edged forward on the heels of others, as if making the line more compact might speed it up. The guy behind me belted out, ¨Hell, I GOT my credit card right here. I´ll BUY some land NOW if it´ll get me outta this line.¨ He was going for a chuckle maybe, but the attendant (bilingual, of course) looked like he wanted a hatchet.
I am here in Costa Rica to write a guidebook. And the hardest part might be discovering something.