Saturday, March 24, 2007


Someday, I am sure I will speak from the inside, rather than in a way that worries about the outside. Someday.

But not today.

Though here's a "from the soul" story: A day of work. Menial work. Good work that moves things forward. Happy work. Progress. And then I zip home.

Home. Quiet home. My occasional traveling companion, Ed, calls and asks if I would like to grab food at the Café Costa Rica. He reads me reviews. Sounds fine, let’s go.

Café Costa Rica. Sounds so wonderfully removed from the here and now. It’s a small place. Four tables and two of them are very very small. Mache parrots, suspended, lights, fake palms, a counter where you can pick up food. (A terribly positioned jar of disinfectant soap stands next to the tip jar.).

I had read about the plantains and the mango sauce. Yes, those, I want those.

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And the curried chicken with the famed rice and beans in coconut milk!

Good staff here, at the little Café Costa Rica. There’s Roy, who moves between kitchen and tables effortlessly, with stories of Costa Rican relatives and, recounts of fresh fish, prepared straight from the markets.

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Why didn’t you ever introduce me to Costa Rica? – I ask Ed, who is by now having a halting Spanish conversation where there are a lot of words such as mui biene thrown around. Halting Spanish conversations often have mui biene inserted somewhere in the text.

When I next go sailing there, we can meet up!

Spoken like a man, in a million ways.

Meantime, the owner of Café Costa Rica shows up. If Roy is warm, Thony, the owner (aka the Mango Man), is effervescent.

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I want to believe that Madisonians will find this little place and make it their own. Go for it. It defines authentic (if you are after a Costa Rican buzz in a Madisonian climate). Then send me a thank you note.

I want to believe that I know what I’m doing.