Monday, April 25, 2011

Road Babe Dispatch From Costa Rica

Living in Mexico, it seems funny to say that the flavor of tequila reminds me of Costa Rica. That’s not the only thing that jogs my memory though. The smell of coconut oil, champagne spilled on a silk dress, the calls of thieving howler monkeys, and finally the texture of sand in my mouth all bring me back. It’s not as bad as it sounds. It was my sister’s wedding.

A Costa Rican beach is about the best place anyone could ask you to travel for a wedding. Add the lack of necessity for shoes (even in the ceremony), daily use of otherwise pajama attire, plus no makeup, and I’m on board. However, this was a special wedding, so not being one of those blubbery types (and not wanting to be lumped into that category in the near future), I knew heavy artillery was in order.

When the feelings get tough, the tequila gets flowing. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen frequently enough for me to have much tolerance. I get loud, dance like a maniac, and don’t remember a bit of it in the morning. (Does that happen to everyone?) When I popped into the bar early in the afternoon, my friendly bartender Jose asked, “The wedding is tonight, no?” I couldn’t answer him, because the shot glass was upside down and its former contents headed for my belly. All the while, he shoed away the fruit-robbing fingers of monkeys perched at the pool’s edge.

With the smell of coconut oil lingering in the room, I slipped on a turquoise silk dress and wandered barefoot back to the bar. “Again?” Jose asked. I nodded, because it’s hard to answer when you have a slice of lime in your mouth. By the time I arrived on the flower-scattered beach with a plastic champagne glass in my hand, I was drunk. Barefoot musicians strummed away as the indigo clouds sank deep into the glowing pink sky.

At the reception, a jazz skat singer whipped out some saucy Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday tunes, while I made a meaningful toast on film that I don’t remember. In an elated stupor, I decided to head out to the beach with the band after the party ended. Apparently, I thought it was a tip-top idea to swim and play in the sand. “It doesn’t matter,” I reasoned, “The dress already has tequila stains.”

Mittie Babette Roger is from Louisiana but lives in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. She received an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Naropa University and authored the book It's Better to Visit the Shaman Without Questions to Ask. She travels the world volunteering to help disadvantaged children and promoting Blue Iguana Tequila to empower serious drinkers.

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