What do Playboy bunnies, hookers, casinos, gay guys and heavy drinking at an open bar have in common? They were all there on my first day in Costa Rica. On my first trip to Costa Rica I arrived a few days after Boris and Charlie. They were there in our friend’s really sweet penthouse condo in Escazu, the rich expat suburb of San Jose. After I arrived the three of us amigos decided we would go and figure out what downtown San Jose was like. One word. Dirty. From the streets to the hookers. Dirty. The three of us headed into the famous Del Rey Casino which consists of gaming, a hotel, a bar and is loaaaaaaaaded with working women. You can just pick them out right there and go upstairs. Dirty. While we enjoyed the attention that three young, good looking guys get in a place loaded with old fat expats, we had to get down to business. Where were going to start our Single Dude Travel lifestyle for our first entire summer abroad?
We had it all planned out, we had an entire summer off and we wanted to go spend it in a country we knew little to nothing about. We were going to live there, not “go on vacation” and not “go visit.” We just had to decide where. Our criteria were:
1. Hot chicks
2. Good weather
We had no idea where to go but we knew beer would help get those wheels turning. We ordered a round of Imperiales and quickly decided that we needed a complex decision making process similar to the choice of a new Pope. Therefore this would involve yelling, arguing, lots of drinking and hookers. Now, these hookers were included not for their obvious talents. No, we needed an independent accounting firm to oversee and tabulate such an important vote. We were so successful about including the beer part that the rest of it is a little fuzzy although I’ll try to outline the process to the best of my recollection:
1.) We brainstormed a long list of places, around 60-80 cities.
2.) Through a very complex, multi-round, beer addled, yet democratic process we narrowed it down to 3 cities by eliminating a few cities every round, and each chose 1 location in the end to champion. It almost goes without saying that a round of drinks accompanied with each round of voting.
3.) The choices were narrowed down to Sofia, Bulgaria (Charlie), Odessa, Ukraine (Boris), Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (¡Raul!)
4.) We each prepared a 5-10 minute drunken speech explaining why our destination was the best choice.
5.) It was decided that our speeches should be delivered to the entire bar while standing on top of a chair and the hookers should act as moderators. I am not sure if I gave my speech on a chair, but it was a good idea in theory.
6.) We delivered our speeches and somehow settled on Sofia.
Raul’s speech was actually quite persuasive. I voted for Vietnam, but ¡Raul! and Boris chose Sofia. God knows what would have happened to us in Saigon.
With at least 10-15 beers down per capita and a huge mission accomplished we decided it was time to press on. Nothing like a drunken trip to the local shopping mall to try to pickup Costa Rican chicks (“chicas”) which we did with varying degrees of success. Boris seemed to have a particular knack for meeting married girls. The biggest success out of the mall trip was that we met a few girls that notified us about a special party going on at one of the local upscale clubs featuring $10 all you can drink. This was all we needed to hear.
We headed back to the bachelor pad in Escazu to get cleaned up and deal with some basic necessities like dinner. With all of that out of the way we rolled up to the club about 10 pm and were pleasantly surprised with both the decor and the patronage. I have to say that Charlie is much better at moderation in drinking than us. Taking Boris and I to an open bar party is kind of like partying with the Tasmanian devil. Your girls end up fucked and your bar ends up smashed, not intentionally smashed mind you, just smashed nonetheless. Memories are foggy but I remember two things of significance, I was making out and dirty dancing with a hot curvy Colombian lawyer chick and Charlie was making major inroads with a girl claiming to be a Playboy model (she looked the part) and her bunch of gay dudes. We closed the party out and on this particular night Charlie was no match for Boris and ¡Raul!’s vodka muscles. He had to call it. Boris and I weren’t having it though. Charlie explained that he just didn’t want to chase the night but here have the rest of my colones and go back to the Del Rey and have fun, but if fun was found, feel free to bring it back. We decided that the night was late enough and that we were drunk enough we might have to consider the hooker option…. Well actually it went more like this…
¡Raul!: “Borrrrriss… [slurrr]… [unintelligible]… hookers?”
Boris: “Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! [slurrrr]… [unintelliglbe]…”
We set out toward the main street where we were hoping to find a taxi, however in Escazu that’s kind of a tall order at 4 in the morning. Nevertheless, on this dark and deserted street, in just a few minutes we found one. Boris, remembered through his vodka haze, that you have to negotiate the price first in order to not get ripped off. The “negotiation” went as follows:
Boris: “How much to downtown San Jose?”
Taxi Driver: “That’ll be [some totally reasonable sum]”
Boris: “FUCK YOU!” *slams door*
Needless to say the taxi driver sped off cursing us in Spanish. To this day Boris cannot explain why he told the taxi driver to fuck off even though the price was right. We must have waited 20 minutes to see another taxi which we flagged down, but there was a problem, it was the same taxi! After more Spanish curses and spinning tires we were again alone in the middle of the intersection. Shortly thereafter an SUV came blazing down the long street that approaches the intersection, swerving back and forth and nearly hitting us as we drunkenly stumbled around in the middle of the intersection. It turned out to be the alleged Playboy bunny and the gay guys. They invited us to a party. After I convinced Boris that I could definitely beat up the dudes in the car if needed, we hopped in the SUV and went back to what turned out to be the Playboy bunny’s house. Only one person in the car spoke English outside of Boris and myself, but hey, who needs to talk at an early morning Playboy/Gayboy party?
By the time we arrived it was at least 6 a.m., more drinks were poured, our good buddy Senor Imperial was there and pot was smoked. The party consisted of the Playboy bunny, a bunch of gay dudes and a super fat chick. Boris already seemed to have his meat hooks firmly implanted in the Playboy bunny so it became apparent that this was going to be another black ops mission for ¡Raul!… That’s right, I ¡Raul!, have never met a grenade I would not jump on for a fellow teammate. I knew at this point, my choices were:
1. Three way with Playboy chick (too drunk for that)
2. Four way with the gay guys (not drunk enough)
3. 2 1/2 way with the fat chick (the Goldilocks scenario)
So, I went for it. After passing out while she was playing with ¡Raul! Jr., the next thing I know, I awoke with what appeared to be a large water buffalo sprawled across me as I lay in bed with my pants around my ankles. I attempted to determine if it would be possible to extract myself from this situation without gnawing off any limbs and luckily it was.
The formerly small, cute, well appointed Costa Rican ranch style house looked like a complete war zone. Bodies, bottles and cigarette butts were everywhere. Boris was found completely incoherent “wearing” Playboy bunny as one might wear a piece of clothing passed out on the coach. After serious effort I was able to rouse him and he was completely dumbfounded as to his location and even more so as to where the girl had come from… All I could say was… “you just sort of cave manned her.” And it was true, there was absolutely no common language between the two of them other than the language of love and vodka. At this point, there was no raising Boris from his Central American Snuggie, so I had the Whale call me a cab. As I rode back to our place I started thinking that Charlie must have assumed we were dead, but each time, the headache stopped any coherent thoughts and put me back into a haze.
After arriving home, Charlie and I were recounting the night. An hour later, Boris, throws open the door and proclaims, “Buenas Dios!!!” Perfect.