Tag Archives: @thewritersretreatofsanbuenas

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Simple Life in San Buenas Soothes Complicated Soul

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It’s called the Urban Scowl for men and Resting Bitch Face for women.

Surely, my female friends would argue this is not fair. That it ought to be RBF for everybody or Urban Scowl for both genders.

And my more ‘Snowflake-y’ friends would get upset assuming RBF is sexist and the other phrase must be racist because it has the word ‘urban’ in it.

Often referred to as the Urban Scowl because it’s easy to develop one living in big cities in The United States where you don’t want to be bothered by aggressive panhandlers and or potential muggers so you simply adopt a tough looking face hoping others will leave you alone. Eventually, it sticks.

No spring chicken, am I.

At 45, there’s been no election uglier in my lifetime than 2016. It felt like everybody was at each other’s throat.

I no longer discuss politics with anybody. Not because I no longer have opinions but because I’m tired of friendships and relationships and even careers ruined because of somebody’s difference of opinion. Thought Crime is no longer science-fiction, Mr. Orwell. It’s a real thing and both sides are enforcing it.

When listening to the most outspoken Liberals and the most outspoken Conservatives is like listening to schizophrenics. They will vacillate between insightful clarity and moments of pure insanity. Try explaining to either one when they’re wrong about a particular issue. It’s never pretty.

In January, I arrived to San Buenas overweight, stressed-out, carrying the ugliest Resting Bitch Face\Urban Scowl you’ve ever seen, and felt genuinely exasperated with The United States and concerned for its future.

If you are not a little concerned, you are not paying attention.

In San Buenas for over a month and the permanent scowl has disappeared. I sleep soundly every night. It’s harder to scowl when feeling so well-rested and everybody I walk pass in San Buenas smiles and waves. If you meet another North American expatriate, they’ll get so excited, welcoming you with personal invites to dinners and field trips.

The natural rural beauty of this village will cause you to slow down, walk outside and reflect. You will observe clouds floating atop mountains while you float in a swimming pool. Or as you explore outside loving nature, your body will sweat, your natural cooling off process. The local food is high protein, low fat. In other words, through nature walks and quality food, you will lose weight with little effort. Bonus, too, for seafood lovers which Costa Rica excels.

Beauty relaxes you, nourishes your soul as sunsets reflect vibrant, intense colors you’ve never seen in the sky before.

Recently, I swam in the Pacific Ocean at around 4:30 pm and watched a pair of toucans fly along the shore, the setting sun reflecting their multi-colored wing span. The person I was with, another American and former city dweller, could not believe his eyes, as we both bobbed in the water in meditative silence. Only now do I realize how much healing we both needed.

Having a group chat online with several friends back in The States this morning, one volunteered that he is currently taking Zoloft. Another added that he took Xanax. The joker of our crowd said, “I’m old school. I still take Lithium.”

Me? I replied to all, “I take San Buenas. I sleep well every night. I eat well. I look the best I’ve looked in years. I smile all the time and make friends wherever I go. This place may be God’s antidepressant. Everybody should get a prescription.”

Are you ready for yours?

I am the gatekeeper of paradise.

Come see me.


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Cafe’ Rey Market: The Cultural Hub of Downtown San Buenas

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The Cultural Hub of Downtown San Buenas
By Ezekiel Tyrus

Sitting on a bench in front of Cafe’ Rey Market, and thinking this has the flavor of a general store in the Old American South, or even Old Florida.

Incredibly hot and the road is dirt. Chickens walk by freely. Down the street you can hear cows mooing.

And dogs, dogs everywhere. You assume they’re strays but the country folk of Costa Rica have a hands-off, lots of freedom attitude towards their canines.

They allow them to wander without collars to go explore the entire village with the faith they’ll eventually come home, and seemingly, they always do.

Each if fat, happy and curious, enjoying the freedom of strays with the bounty of food and affection of being beloved pets.

When a dog struts by Cae’ Rey Market, I will stick out my hand to pet the happy little creatures and one of the local Ticos will say, San Buenas dog“That’s Eduardo,” or “That’s Paco,” or “That’s Tito,” …

None are strays but rather beloved pets known and respected by the locals like little citizens. Can you imagine?

Never got close enough to pet a chicken.

Geraldo is the owner. There everyday, often outside in a rocking chair holding court among several Ticos. His son Abel and daughter Arlen are usually inside running the store. All good people whom I’ve grown to adore as they giggle at my broken Spanish and are so quick to introduce me to whatever local is standing around or inside the store.

I’ve gotten to know most of the village through them, and everybody here knows everybody. There are no strangers and few people simply walk past the market or drive by.

Most everybody stops to say hi, if bicycling or walking by, they usually stop to talk for about 15 minutes. If driving, they’ll roll down the window and shout pleasantries for about 5 minutes.

Yesterday, an old Ford F-150 pickup truck from the early 90s rolled by. The bed was filled with scrap metal and the truck was rather beat-up and missing paint, acned with rust stains.

Three guys came out from the front, each muscular in jeans and t-shirts well-worn, nearly threadbare and wearing black work boots that’ll outlive everybody. They swaggered and radiated a steely-eyed working-class toughness. If they were white dudes in America, we’d call them rednecks.

When they saw me sitting on the bench by the front door, every single one of them stuck out their hand, greeted me warmly and said, “Pura vida.”

They came outside afterwards and sat next to me on the bench drinking orange soda and eating ceviche in small green containers. Through my broken Spanish, I learned these gentlemen were from the larger and edgier community of Palmer Norte, and they were just as curious about me as I was them. Asking me if I had ever been to places like Miami, Los Angeles and New York City.

At break’s end, they threw their stuff in the trash, smiled as they waved me adios and, wished me ‘Pura vida.”

The market generally has most of the stuff I need.

Sometimes they feature homemade ceviche with the right amount of spica and tang. A dish I could eat with every meal 3 times a day every day for the rest of my life. I’ve been told Arlen makes the ceviche. It’s great and they run out of it quickly.

However, the best part of Cafe’ Rey Market?

It’s fun.

The family that owns it, that’s there daily, are laid back and fun.
The locals sitting outside on benches and chairs are having fun, laughter the most common sound.

Men, women, kids and the elderly come and hang out at various times, greet one another with familiar smiles and laughter.

They gossip, poke fun, and wave, always, without fail, they wave when somebody walks by.

Cafe’ Rey Market, the cultural hub of Downtown San Buenas, where everybody knows your name and they call me Ezequiel.

A few times a week, I go there to buy a few groceries, plus a drink, some juice or ice tea, and if available, Arlen’s homemade ceviche.

Then, I park it outside on the bench, drink my drink, eat my seafood and soak up the atmosphere the way you would a favorite bar, and always leave happier than I arrived.

#LasVIllasdeSanBuenas

#TheWritersRetreatofSanBuenas

#EzekielTyrus


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