Trying (unsuccessfully) to diet, getting my hair done, worrying about my limited wardrobe… Either I had a date, or I was going to be immortalized on film. Stop laughing out loud about my dating prospects in this tiny town. I don’t hear you anyway, because I’m too busy staying camera-ready!
An old friend of mine, Matt Gross (of New York Times’ Frugal Traveler fame) visited me for a whirlwind film shoot for an excellent travel/expat show he’s pitching, Strangers in Strange Lands. Little Coco might never be the same.
I was super-nervous. I prefer to hide behind my laptop and edit what I write (“say”) several times before pressing send. It’s, uh, why I’m a writer. But TV was actually fun! I know I won’t like the finished project (I’ve already untagged myself from several photos posted on Facebook), but the process itself was a blast.
Matt and his crew (producer Mariah and cameraman Justin) found my house by driving through my neighborhood and asking around. This isn’t as strange as it sounds – Costa Rica famously has no street names or numbers, so sometimes you’ve just gotta keep asking. They finally found me, and I was immediately mic-ed and asked to say hello. It was great. I hadn’t seen Matt in ten years (excuse me, nine, as he corrected me), since we were minions at New York magazine together.
We kicked off the big event by descending upon a beachfront BBQ at La Vida Loca. The whole barrio came! Lisa actually found blotting papers to save my makeup, and my hairdresser, Jen, fluffed my hair in the humidity. I was even papped – out of the corner of my eye, I spied a friend wearing a big floppy hat and sunglasses, taking photos from behind the bushes like a real paparazzo. This was as close to LA as Coco was ever going to get. And thank goodness for that.
Over the next two and a half days we sweated through a meandering walk through my barrio and the town, took in two spectacular sunsets at Pacifico, and partied on the infamous stoop. Meanwhile, I perfected my totally fake “wanna catch the sunset? Let’s go!” lead-ins and attempted to not look down at the ground or talk too fast, my signature move. On our last day, Matt muscled his way through early-morning yoga before a luxurious boat ride, thanks to North Pacific Tours.
I’m totally kidding about our little production being “like, so L.A.” As expats and residents of a small pueblo with a laid back lifestyle, we get a kick out of projects like this.
Something I was so nervous about ended up being more like a perfect little holiday, although we crammed way more into three days than I ever have on vacation. Cameras? What cameras? It was more like hanging out with friends – although one was holding a camera to record my every move.
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