Interesting People You Meet at Random Places to Eat

Greetings,

Something wonderful about traveling around the world is the fun of sniffing out where to eat. You look around and try and find those little holes in the wall that don’t cater to the random tourist looking to be separated from their coin. If you dig deep, you’ll find places that have the freshest food at the lowest prices and a steady supply of locals who dine their regularly. You’ll also meet some real characters…

The other night I went out with my friends and we drank jungle juice spiked with rum before heading to a beach club of sorts. Don’t get crazy with the old imagination station, ok? It was like some slow beach resort thing and whenever I go I’m like ehhh why didn’t I stay at home but this is important to the story, sorta. Suffice to say we woke up wondering who these garden gnomes were and who let them into the house to bang about our heads with bananas looking all tough wearing bandannas.

I woke up at 4am in the beach house outside Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica with a headache and realized we had NO fresh water in the house, whoops. Alright we had like one glass but there is a lady living here and I’m a gent so I left it for her. Suffice to say after an hour or so of tossing and turning it was time to get to town. The grocer opens at 7 but I know this little hole in the wall that opens at 6am. I was locked out once forever and ended up going there for a glass of water after a long jog but I digress.

So I roll into this little diner and it’s filled with random local people going about their business. A gent walks in and we exchange greetings as I’m finishing my eggs. Turns out what followed was one of the most intellectually stimulating conversations I’d had in a long time. It was one of those conversations you have with another well traveled character that when you leave, your perception on things have changed slightly and you’re better for it.

The moral to this story, if there is one? Always chat with the people you meet at those weird little places you sniff out to chill at and eat. You’ll meet some real memorable characters and you just might learn something! Besides a pleasant breakfast and enlightening conversation, this view of the bay just after sunrise wasn’t too shabby either…

Tips hat,

6 Comments

  1. Marco Fiori

    December 10, 2012 at 5:58 am

    I always try to find local places, which can look intimidating but offer the best quality food, conversations and affordability. It’s also where you meet equally adventurous travellers and locals who can give recommendations of things to see books cannot give. Also makes for the best stories.

    • Rob

      December 10, 2012 at 7:58 am

      Indeed! Just today I went to one of my favorites and the gent pulled out a huge lobster. I’m going back there this evening to have it for dinner fully prepared with all the sides for $5. You can’t beat it! If I was to hit up the main drag, I’d be paying $10 for a bit of fried dorado!

  2. Shaun

    December 10, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Great advice man. I’ve only recently realized this while speaking and hanging out with expats in Panama.

    • Rob

      December 10, 2012 at 2:34 pm

      I’m in Costa Rica, I’d say let’s meet up but I’m flying to Canada in a few days for Xmas. Enjoy C. America and if you’re around in February, make your way to Little Corn Island!

      Listen to them, make it a mission to find these little places and your travel world will change.

  3. Kristin Addis

    December 11, 2012 at 5:56 am

    Absolutely awesome. Just had one of those myself. Was seated alone and a girl from a nearby table came over and invited me to join she and her friend. Now I know where to head next in Thailand :) Hadn’t a clue before talking to them and getting some great advice.

    • Rob

      December 11, 2012 at 10:21 am

      It’s the secret sauce to a stellar trip, glad you’ve founded it and been applying it liberally to your sandwiches!

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