It takes one day to know the entire living population of Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. After that, you own the town. Every place you walk into, you know the person behind the bar and the people in the kitchen, and the faces scattered at each and every table. “A round of tequila!” you cry, slapping somebody on the back. The whole room cheers. “Para todos mis amigos!” you cry, again. They cheer louder.
And sometimes people work places you could never otherwise go, like high-end resorts atop mountains overlooking the ocean and the fog clotted jungles. Sometimes these places have infinity pools stretched to the horizon with bars built into them, that only guests with special passes are allowed access to, but you get to slip in alongside your friend who keeps bar, shake out a martini or two (as a cover), and join (inconspicuously) the boozy-eyed gawkers in the chlorinated water.
Then you pretend you’re a guest and make friends and toast the sunset and the palm trees and agree heartily with the Swedish tourists about, “This is the life, eh friend?”
It’s cheating, really, that you’re there at all — ”This is your life, eh friend?” — but it’s still your memory, all the same.