Murphy’s Law says, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” Write about a time everything did — fiction encouraged here, too!
I think that it was either in 1999 or 2000 that I went to Costa Rica with my dear friend. The trip was 10 days in this beautiful lodge in the midst of the jungle with guided tours of the jungle and meals provided by the locals; very nature oriented. It was a truly magnificent experience. We hiked each and everyday in the jungle, I saw 15 different species of snakes up close and personal, I caught two fish and fed the group. We woke up every morning to the sound of Howler monkeys, we saw a Jesus Christ lizard, we saw huge Iguanas; I came home with a tropical virus. Yet there were some challenges.
When we got to San Jose, we stayed overnight at a small hotel in the city and the next morning early, we had to catch a small plane to bring us to the far south of Costa Rica where the Bay meets the Pacific. My friend was adamant that we had to be at the airport early to catch the flight to Golfito to meet up with the boat that would take us to the lodge. I wonder if you can imagine the "all sorts of troubles" that can happen when a time element is introduced in a foreign country where you aren't very fluent in the language. My French can only go so far and my Spanish is not even rusty, it is neanderthal. I didn't have the guts to voice any of my concerns to my friend because on a good day she is high strung; in this situation I think her head would have exploded. So in my head I was thinking "I hope that the front desk follows through with our wake up call" and as we were talking about getting our airport transportation, I mentally wondered if the car had gas (I am not kidding). The next morning I woke up an hour before, because when I am not very confident of the situation my internal alarm goes off. I waited and waited and the wake up call didn't come so I woke my friend and we were all ready and waiting for our airport transportation. The driver strolled in fifteen minutes late, all disheveled and needing a shave. I thought that my friend was going to slap him but she didn't. I kept my mouth shut and when we got in the car, I made the mistake of saying to my friend "I hope that the car has gas". Not two seconds later the man said "I have to get gas". My friend turned to me and said "this is your fault don't say anything else about what could happen". She was becoming a little superstitious at this point. We got to the airport five minutes late but the planes were still there, thank goodness. This is when it gets interesting. We walked out to the field and there were several groups of tourists like us waiting for flights out to various destinations. All the planes were on the runway, all, two prop planes or put-put planes as I like to call them. In the middle of the runway six pilots were arguing and gesturing towards one plane, that for me was a bad sign and my friend told me to stop looking and thinking about the planes. I listened and tried to stop thinking about any possible mishaps except I couldn't get the thought of misplaced luggage out of my head. When the pilots came to some sort of agreement, all the luggage was put on all of the planes and all of us were shown to one plane or another and off we went.
Back then I used to drink and I have to confess to you that if they had served alcohol on those putt-putt planes I would have gladly imbibed. The planes was too small and the mountains were too close for my comfort level. When we arrived at the airport I could see the dirt field and that landing was the scariest landing that I have ever survived.
When we got off the plane and onto terra firma, we were greeted by a one armed baggage handler who refused any help. As he was off loading the baggage and individuals were grabbing their bags, I was happy to see that our luggage was there but two sisters in our group weren't as lucky. As my friend was trying to figure out the logistics with the two sisters, they were part of our tourist group; a girl in a purple outfit came up and interrupted them quite rudely and said that we needed to get to the boat and standing there was a useless waste of time. I really took quite a dislike to her and I was relieved that she wasn't part of our group. After her really rude and nasty remarks, she went off into the plane and we left to our own devices.
We told the sisters that they were more then welcome to borrow anything from us and we all got in a rickety truck that was going to bring us to the boat that would take us across the bay to the lodge. At this point my bag was getting heavier and heavier. When we got to the dock there were all these vultures hanging out looking at us and I was thinking I don't quite know about all of this. The boat ride wasn't bad, when we got to the beach, there wasn't a dock, I dropped my book into the water so I wasn't happy and I threw my bag onto the sand and walked up to the lodge. I was going to go back and get it when one of the guides beat me to it. I apologized and he said "no you shouldn't and let me get you something to drink"
For my friend and I, everything got better, the sisters eventually got their luggage and we all had a wonderful time exploring the jungle and eating stupendously wonderful cuisine. The bad karma only came when the girl in purple showed up at the lodge. I had called her the purple lady and we talked about how rude and nasty she had been. My friend was taken aback by how much I disliked her because it is not in my nature to not give everyone the benefit of the doubt.
I was in the shower in our gorgeous room minding my own business when my friend burst into the bathroom and said "stop thinking bad thoughts about the purple lady" I asked 'why?" She replied "the purple lady just got here with a friend and while they were getting their other stuff from the boat, a part of a big tree splintered off, falling and crushing their bags right where they had been standing." It didn't get any better for her after that close call and my friend blamed it all on my "mojo". The purple lady got stung by a jellyfish in the water where my friend and I had been swimming just before and a snake fell on her head while she was in the lodge's kitchen. She cut her hand with a steak knife the following day. It was not good to be her apparently while I was around, according to my friend.
Aside from the tropical virus that I got there, this trip was one for the adventure books. I had a fantastic time and my mind is full of wonderful memories of that trip and I discovered that I have mojo.