just spent a delightful 4 hours with an older gentleman (well, maybe55) talking about all sorts of things in both english and spanish, learning and teaching. this is the kind of thing that i hope will happen more and more often as i spend more time in costa rica. most people are so friendly here, especially if you make an effort with spanish and aren´t afraid of them. at first, i was talking with alibierto and another man, and a happy drunk came up begging for money. i said something about how it is the same everywhere. the drunk said ¨fucking gringo¨, but with a grin, so i said ¨si, soy un fucking gringo¨, in my best costaricense accent. big laugh all around, and it became the running joke of the day. anyway, we were talking about liberia, and why it is so poor compared to many costa rican cities. basically it is a stopover on the way to and from the beach and arenal or monteverde. most people don´t even stay over night. i was looking for tourists all day but only seeing a few. then, lo and behold, i happened to look up, and there they were, crammed onto a balcony of the most westernized cafe in town, safely away from anything real. there is a nice little central park with a large ramada in the middle which is used very rarely for musical events. it would be a perfect place to host concerts. with all the young people travelling in this region, if there was a monthly concert there, it would be a huge boost to the economy. anyway, we talked about this and other ideas in two languages. a good day.