When I was 24 I bought a ridiculously cheap plane ticket to Costa Rica. After taking my sweet-ass time to finish college, it was the least I could do for myself. So two days after graduation, my friend Dawn and I headed south for two glorious, sun-drenched weeks of absolutely zero responsibility. To say it was an adventure would be an understatement. This being my first experience out of Uhmerika, I was overwhelmed with the, well, foreignness of everything. My brain literally ached from all the mental translating. (Mayhaps this is why I stubbornly refuse to learn Korean...)
Anyway, hopping a ride on a rickety bus from Puntarenas to Jaco Beach, we arrived to find our American-run hostel in EXTREME disrepair. No worries, we thought, and hiked up the street to The Beautiful and Luxurious Best Western Jaco Beach. At $30 a night, it was a motherfucking steal: private beach, manicured grounds, and full continental breakfast. Yes, please! We booked three nights.
For two days we were queens; we lounged carelessly next to the pool and ordered fruity drinks. We plowed through tattered paperbacks while our skin turned the color of bad 70's hard case luggage. And then tragedy struck. Whilst frolicking on the beach and generally creating merriment and joy, a rogue wave crashed into my left knee and slid my kneecap out of place. As you may well know, I'm a Drama Queen and I generally do not care who knows it. I dropped to the sand, writhing and screaming in agony. This being a private beach and all, The Beautiful and Luxurious Best Western Jaco Beach immediately came to my rescue by calling an ambulance.
Amidst great crisis, we've all had those moments of lucidity and thought, "I should really get a picture of this. For posterity's sake, of course." No such moment struck me and I have been kicking myself (with my good leg, of course) ever since. See, the "ambulance" was actually a white hearse whose prime was sometime around the Eisenhower Administration. The driver was a tanned man in his twenties who wore cut-offs and a t-shirt, and stopped to pick up a buddy on the way to the "hospital".
But wait, it gets better.
Once in the "emergency room" the "doctor" took one look at my kneecap and pronounced with great certainty that I most definitely needed "surgery" and was to be airlifted back to Puntarenas ASAP! He then pulled out a gargantuan syringe and offered ease my suffering. My emotions went into overdrive and I pleaded with Dawn to get me the fuck out of there, post haste. Dawn was a champ. Without a second thought she wheeled me back out to the dirt road, shoved my screaming ass into the first cab and "andale"-ed all the way back to The Beautiful and Luxurious Best Western Jaco Beach.
By this time, my knee was the size of a grapefruit, but my tears had subsided. My spirits were further lifted when The Beautiful and Luxurious Best Western Jaco Beach offered me a set of crutches and 40% off our current room rate. We booked three more nights.
Poolside recovery seemed to suit me, for just a few days later I was showing Dawn my now-famous "A Christmas Story" fra-jee-lay leg lamp impersonation:
I have a whole other vacation story starring Mindy's early 2000's foray into bad Mandarin-inspired tattoos, but that's for another post...
*Not so interesting side-note: I am, perhaps, not-so-conspicuously avoiding real life, current event blogging. Get ready for more Back to the Future posts, y'all.