lunes, 24 de enero de 2011

It's like a state fair...on speed.

That's how Ellen described Palmares at least.

Palmares was one of the more interesting experiences I've had since I've been on Tico time. It's the Costa Rican national fair, which is like most of the state and county fairs you've been to in the US except take away the livestock (except for the bull fighting) and add an extraordinary amount of alcohol and other Central American party favors. There were tons of vendors selling everything from cowboy hats to Justin Bieber CDs to pot paraphernalia. There was also magnificent food (and by magnificent, I mean cheap and unhealthy but still quite delicious).

Really the most impressive part was the way that it was state fair by day, giant raging party by night. There were three clubs erected in the middle of the fairground, made basically out of scaffolding and plywood, that thousands of people filled at night. I'll admit, being on the third story of one of these scaffolding structures was a bit terrifying - if you stopped dancing for a second you could feel the entire structure shaking in time to the music. Fortunately it stayed together as long as I was inside.

But, I think the funniest part of the entire experience was the fact that I apparently was a fair attraction as well. I was definitely one of the tallest people there (I had a great view on the dance floor) and a number of random people asked to get there picture taken with me. Apparently I just look overwhelmingly American...

Sadly I don't have any pictures to share of this particular experience - Palmares is notorious for pickpockets, especially targeting gringos. While no one in our group experienced any problems (and were all overly cautious about tucking money in places that it would be exceedingly hard to get at) I still thought it best not to risk losing anything valuable. But if you want to see general photos from the event and see more what it's about, go to

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