Cafe’ Rey Market: The Cultural Hub of Downtown San Buenas

The Cultural Hub of Downtown San Buenas
By Ezekiel Tyrus

Sitting on a bench in front of Cafe’ Rey Market, and thinking this has the flavor of a general store in the Old American South, or even Old Florida.

Incredibly hot and the road is dirt. Chickens walk by freely. Down the street you can hear cows mooing.

And dogs, dogs everywhere. You assume they’re strays but the country folk of Costa Rica have a hands-off, lots of freedom attitude towards their canines.

They allow them to wander without collars to go explore the entire village with the faith they’ll eventually come home, and seemingly, they always do.

Each if fat, happy and curious, enjoying the freedom of strays with the bounty of food and affection of being beloved pets.

When a dog struts by Cae’ Rey Market, I will stick out my hand to pet the happy little creatures and one of the local Ticos will say, San Buenas dog“That’s Eduardo,” or “That’s Paco,” or “That’s Tito,” …

None are strays but rather beloved pets known and respected by the locals like little citizens. Can you imagine?

Never got close enough to pet a chicken.

Geraldo is the owner. There everyday, often outside in a rocking chair holding court among several Ticos. His son Abel and daughter Arlen are usually inside running the store. All good people whom I’ve grown to adore as they giggle at my broken Spanish and are so quick to introduce me to whatever local is standing around or inside the store.

I’ve gotten to know most of the village through them, and everybody here knows everybody. There are no strangers and few people simply walk past the market or drive by.

Most everybody stops to say hi, if bicycling or walking by, they usually stop to talk for about 15 minutes. If driving, they’ll roll down the window and shout pleasantries for about 5 minutes.

Yesterday, an old Ford F-150 pickup truck from the early 90s rolled by. The bed was filled with scrap metal and the truck was rather beat-up and missing paint, acned with rust stains.

Three guys came out from the front, each muscular in jeans and t-shirts well-worn, nearly threadbare and wearing black work boots that’ll outlive everybody. They swaggered and radiated a steely-eyed working-class toughness. If they were white dudes in America, we’d call them rednecks.

When they saw me sitting on the bench by the front door, every single one of them stuck out their hand, greeted me warmly and said, “Pura vida.”

They came outside afterwards and sat next to me on the bench drinking orange soda and eating ceviche in small green containers. Through my broken Spanish, I learned these gentlemen were from the larger and edgier community of Palmer Norte, and they were just as curious about me as I was them. Asking me if I had ever been to places like Miami, Los Angeles and New York City.

At break’s end, they threw their stuff in the trash, smiled as they waved me adios and, wished me ‘Pura vida.”

The market generally has most of the stuff I need.

Sometimes they feature homemade ceviche with the right amount of spica and tang. A dish I could eat with every meal 3 times a day every day for the rest of my life. I’ve been told Arlen makes the ceviche. It’s great and they run out of it quickly.

However, the best part of Cafe’ Rey Market?

It’s fun.

The family that owns it, that’s there daily, are laid back and fun.
The locals sitting outside on benches and chairs are having fun, laughter the most common sound.

Men, women, kids and the elderly come and hang out at various times, greet one another with familiar smiles and laughter.

They gossip, poke fun, and wave, always, without fail, they wave when somebody walks by.

Cafe’ Rey Market, the cultural hub of Downtown San Buenas, where everybody knows your name and they call me Ezequiel.

A few times a week, I go there to buy a few groceries, plus a drink, some juice or ice tea, and if available, Arlen’s homemade ceviche.

Then, I park it outside on the bench, drink my drink, eat my seafood and soak up the atmosphere the way you would a favorite bar, and always leave happier than I arrived.

#LasVIllasdeSanBuenas

#TheWritersRetreatofSanBuenas

#EzekielTyrus

The Sunsets of Costa Rica Are An Even Greater Phenomenon than Aurora Borealis

I’m not discrediting the Northern Lights. If you are like me, seeing the Aurora Borealis, a collisions between gaseous particles in the Earth’s atmosphere, is on your Bucket List.

However, I don’t believe the Northern Lights will have anything on the sunsets of Costa Rica.

Sunset villas san buenas

Another day, another beautiful sunset here in Las Villas de San Buenas

There are 5 specific reasons why I feel this way, the first 3 are practical, the other 2 are special like Costa Rica itself.

First, to get to the Aurora Borealis, you’ve got to travel to the far North. The closer you get to the Arctic Circle, the more prominent the Northern Lights are. For the sunsets, all you’ve got to do is come to Costa Rica.

Second, because it’s the far North, you’ve got to wear layers upon layers just to stay warm. It’s cold!

Here, in Costa Rica, I usually wear nothing but a tank top and running shorts, only throwing on shoes when I’ve got to go somewhere.

Go ahead and keep your layers, when I’m through writing this, I taking off my tank top and going for a swim.

Third, you’ve got to look up towards the sky to see The Northern Lights. Even though it’s lovely, who needs that neck-strain? Seriously.

I’m in Villas de San Buenas de Osa in the Southern Zone, and all one has to do is look straight towards the Pacific Ocean beyond the horizon.

There’s no Daylight Savings Time in Costa Rica like there is in The States, screwing up Americans emotionally and mentally for days and weeks on end.

This is why you always make sure you’re outside at 4:30pm every day all year long, and you can stand or walk or sit in a chair and just look straight ahead to where the sun’s setting. No neck-strain.

This leads to the fourth reason. The Aurora Borealis is up in the sky, beyond your reach. A Costa Rica Sunset envelops you. You watch the sun set, then at 4:45, almost 5, you look around you as the entire country turns into gold.
There’s a sheen everywhere. Everybody’s skin is glowing, including yours.

The incredible light, the soft golden hue is reflecting in all the vegetation, the mountains, the jungle, reflecting back against the houses, and you can walk around letting the light embrace you, or spin around like when you were a kid in a field. You are part of this natural wonder. It’s of the Earth, the air and sky. You don’t need to look upwards but around, or rather straight-ahead and side-to-side. You are inside the Costa Rica sunset from your bare feet to the top of your head.

If you are a spiritual person you will see and feel your God. This may be true regarding the Aurora Borealis but it’s different when you are inside your God, and can feel and see God all around you, not just up in the sky.

And lastly, if you are an artistic person, like myself, and we each have an art inside us, the sunsets of Costa Rica will make you want to create art.

Mine has always been the written word, but each sunset I experience, inspires me to go beyond words, enabling me to draw, to paint, and even take photographs than I ever have before.

Your skin will never look better than it will during a Costa Rican sunset, so take lots of pictures and nobody will need to tell you to smile because you’ll already be there.

The Northern Lights certainly inspired artists, folksinger Nick Drake wrote beautiful songs about it but when you’re inside a Costa Rican sunset, if makes everybody feel like an artist and you’ll feel like a piece of art for just being there.

My name is Ezekiel Tyrus. People call me Zeke. I am the gatekeeper to Paradise. Come see me.

zeke@villassanbuenas.com

#‎EzekielTyrusCostaRica‬

‪#‎LasVillasdeSanBuenasdeOsa‬

Las Villas de San Buenas de Osa

12/17/2015