The Bread I Got in Costa Rica

Cooler weather is on the way this weekend, and so are Santa Ana winds. On Friday morning, my friend, Joe, woke up at 5:15 to go to a meeting at a new coffee shop in Old Town. He was wearing flip flops and a T-shirt that read “Dogs.” On the way home, he realized that he had forgotten his pants. So he grabbed a banana and a piece of bread and walked to the coffee shop. I guess he figured that since he had to wear pants with a tie, he would end up wearing a tie to work that day, too.

I had been talking with Joe over the phone for several days in preparation for a trip to Costa Rica, and I had been telling him, “Now that we have the tickets and the vacation package, let’s not worry about our pants.” I have to admit, I thought I was telling him the truth. But it turns out that this type of thing doesn’t matter in Costa Rica, where I never have to worry about my pants.

Costa Rica is the rainforest, home to one of the most diverse animal populations and ecosystems on earth. While we are in the tropics, I am glad to report that the trees are still in full bloom. (This was, after all, an English-speaking country.) My friend, who is a nature lover and a big-game hunter, wanted to hike to a waterfall, but he wasn’t wearing pants. I had nothing but banana bread on my mind.

So off we went to the coffee shop, and I picked up a loaf of the kind of bread they sell in the States, a dense, chewy white bread with a thick crust and a soft buttery interior. I was wearing flip flops and a T-shirt with a cartoon cat face on it, but I was still sweating from the trip to Costa Rica, and I took it as a sign.

We walked to our seats and I saw that the manager had taken out a huge piece of paper. When I asked him where the meeting was, he said it was on the second floor of a bookstore that was doing a reading of a novel about a woman who loses her job, and is fired from her department store job at the mall. Because every single character in the novel seemed to be wearing a tie, I asked him what

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