This is part nine in my ongoing Friday feature to regale the story of how I came to live here and why I decided to stay. If you've just joined us, I've posted eight links to the previous eight parts below if you'd like to catch up. I have been asked if this is a true story or if there've been any embellishments, and I'd like to make it very clear that every part of this story is in fact true with the exception of some of the names.
I woke up to the sound of women's laughter...
I don't know what I was dreaming about, but as my mind surface to consciousness I instinctively thought that I was at my sisters house and she was joking around with a friend (most likely at my expense). But as I opened my eyes and the room materialized around me, I felt a jolt of adrenaline at the thought of an intruder in my new apartment. But how many burglars giggled like schoolgirls while they were robbing a place in broad daylight? I looked at my watch and it was 7:30 AM, so stealth wasn't on these people's minds. Maybe they were previous tenants coming to get furniture that I had assumed was mine?
Pushing the pile of clothes I was using for warmth aside, I got out of the bed and walked assertively into my new living room. Katya was there along with another girl who I assumed was Costa Rican, and they were looking through my photo albums and laughing uproariously. When they had noticed I walked in, Katya gave me a big smile and said, "we made coffee and brought you some breakfast, now quick get in shower, we have beeg day today!"
At first, I thought that maybe Gary neglected to inform me that I would have room mates. But the second bedroom was completely bereft of anything that would suggest I was sharing an apartment with a very prissy looking Russian girl or even a less prissy Tica. That realization along with the grumpiness of being woken up chafed me a bit. "When you guys are done invading my privacy, do you think you could maybe tell me how you got in here? I know I locked the damn door."
"I am not just your attorney Mr. Gipson, but if you recall I am also your realtor. And now apparently I am also your mother, you have not been here 12 hours and look at this mess." The words may have sounded harsh but she delivered them with a mischievous smile and a sparkle in her blue eyes. I could tell that she had probably used that very same look to somehow get herself from the concrete apartment jungles of Moscow to here in paradise, one gullible man at a time. And she certainly was a beautiful woman, but I was never particularly attracted to blondes and seeing her in my apartment uninvited and unannounced didn't really bode well for any attraction either.
Realizing that it would probably be best not to let the rising anger get to me, I turned my attention to her Latina companion. "And is she your assistant?" I asked. The girl, who could not of been more than 20 years old, did not look in the slightest bit uncomfortable or look to have any hint of the tension I was feeling. She just looked at me and gave me the sweetest of smiles whenever I looked back at her. I found out quickly that she did not speak a word of English.
"She is to be your maid, and you will pay her 10,000 colones a week for her to keep this apartment in order because you are very messy Spiderman." Katya said matter-of-factly, but obviously suppressing more laughter.
"Is that a lot?" I asked. But just as the question left my mouth, I looked down and realized with a very sinking feeling why she referred to me as a "messy Spiderman". I had gone to sleep in a pair of pajamas my son had bought for me that year for Father's Day. Yes.... It was a fleece replica of Spiderman's costume, sans the mask. Hey...they were warm! I suddenly had the feeling that I had not yet had in real life, but did have in dreams where I would show up for school or work in my boxer shorts. Suddenly I felt my face flush, and I knew I probably was as red as a tomato at that point. It's not like I thought I was going to have company.
"No, it is about 20 American dollars. She is student at university and needs the work, and I am not allowed to pay her because she is my intern. I see this as win / win, no? Her name is Johanna, and she is very good girl." She then turned to Johanna and began speaking very quickly in Spanish while gesturing around the apartment. I understood enough to know that she was being given specific instructions on how to clean and arrange my place. But I didn't understand enough to know the specifics. I was decent with Spanish, and even brushed up a little in the months leading up to coming here. But the Spanish spoken here had a completely different accent and word enunciation than what I was familiar with. Later I would find out this was because Costa Rica and Argentina use actual Spanish from Spain as opposed to Latin American vernacular. It definitely complicated things.
Realizing that there wasn't much I could add to the current conversation and garner any kind of professional respect with my surprise new employee dressed as a comic book super hero, I decided to slip back into my room and grab my clothes for the day along with a towel. I was pretty certain that I was not about to be robbed, and I was very eager to try my new shower. Just as my hand touched the knob to walk into the bathroom, Katya called out "we will be waiting, and Johanna says she is eager to see if Peter Parker is just as cute...." They both started giggling again, and I didn't know whether it was a compliment or a jab so I just made a hissing sound as I walked in the bathroom door.
I locked the door. Not really out of the feeling of insecurity, but more of a psychological barrier to the giggly girl vibe emanating from the living room. I got undressed and turned on the shower and was quickly reminded that "C" meant caliente (Hot), but thankfully didn't yell out when the ice cold water hit me and destroyed any lingering sleep I might've had. But eventually the hot water settled in, and the pressure was just luxurious enough to start that morning hot womb ritual we all know and love. I thought about how crazy it was to wake up with two strikingly beautiful women in my house. That's not really something that happens to me every day. But either way, one of my stops today would most certainly be to a hardware store to change the locks. I started to think about the things that I would need in these next two days off, and how....
Someone was trying to open the bathroom door.
I opened the shower curtain and looked at the light coming in from the bottom of the door. There was definitely a pair of feet there. I knelt down to get a better look, and I saw that pair of feet did not have shoes or socks, and sported strawberry pink painted toenails. What the hell was going on? I honestly couldn't remember what either of the ladies were wearing as far as shoes, but I was fairly certain they did have them on. Keeping the shower running, I crept out of it and tiptoed closer to the door. I could hear both of them speaking, and it was obviously Johanna who was closest to the door. The conversation was very difficult to make out, but it did have a tone of disappointment to it.
Maybe they were just trying to see if I had shampoo? The manner in which I woke up, and the scene I woke up to was probably making me a little paranoid. I saw the feet walk away from the bathroom door and to the left towards my bedroom. I didn't know what was going on, but I had a weird feeling about it. So I hurried through my soapless and shampooless shower, dried myself off, and got dressed right there in the bathroom. I did this all as quickly as possible because I was pretty uncomfortable at this point, and wanted to be sure that this girl was actually cleaning and not doing something nefarious.
I walked quickly from the bathroom into my bedroom, and Johanna was there fastening the belt to her jeans. She gave me a very sweet and sincere smile along with a little wave as she walked past me out of the bedroom with her high heel shoes clacking on the ceramic tile. I thought to myself that there was absolutely no way what I thought may have just happened, actually happened. There had to be some other rational explanation as to why she was barefoot at my bathroom door and then apparently adjusting her jeans not 3 min. later in my bedroom. There had to be. I was beginning to think that it had been so long since I felt a woman's touch that I was starting to go a little batshit, and was seeing things and situations that were not really there. She was a beautiful girl though, and her eyes and smile reminded me a lot of Mila Kunis. I needed to get it together... I was only in this country for about eight hours and already my head was messing with me.
Resigned to the fact that I must've been hallucinating, I picked a corner of my room to be my temporary dirty clothes pile and walked back into the living room where the two women were chatting over coffee and cigarettes. Katya then filled me in on what I was going to be doing that day, and apparently I had no choice in the matter. She was going to introduce me to everyone in the office downstairs along with showing me around the town so I could get groceries and supplies. Johanna was going to clean and arrange my apartment for me while we were gone. It took several attempts with my rusty, apparently Cuban accented Spanish to ask Johanna if she was comfortable with this, and she very much was. In fact, she would not stop staring at me and trying to look eye to eye with me during the entire three-way conversation. Her cuteness made it a little less uncomfortable, but it was still pretty uncomfortable nonetheless.
After a couple cups of coffee and some surprisingly good pineapple pastries, Katya and I got up to leave. Johanna started folding and arranging my clothes in drawers, and I asked Katya if any of the places we were going that day sold blankets. The previous night was pretty uncomfortable. She raised one eyebrow and said, "oh, but I am going to take you all over the world today, Peter Parker" and she then rattled off something very quickly in Spanish in the direction of my bedroom. I heard Johanna start giggling again and then call out "Ojos verdes!!"
I knew that meant "green" something, but the accent was still throwing me off and would continue to do so for quite some weeks. And as I walked out the door of my new apartment, I had no idea what this crazy Russian chick had in store for me that day....
Continued Next Friday!!