04 December 2023 San Jose

In search of a money changer

Remember, nothing lasts forever, everything falls apart… now proceed with care!

Paraphrase of the Buddha’s final words to his followers.

It is my last full day in Costa Rica and I have too much cash! I wanted to use my Costa Rican Colones (CRC) cash reserve to pay for this apartment in San Jose but they only accept credit or debit cards. So, I went to the very large branch of Banco Nacional not too far from Central Avenue which was packed with literally hundreds of people in long snaking queues. It wasn’t clear which queue was for which service so I asked an employee for guidance about changing cash. He looked around, shrugged his shoulders then suggested going to the bank’s small kiosk on Central Avenue.

There were only a dozen or so people queuing at the kiosk, whereas yesterday I had noticed that there were 3 or 4 times that many. I took my place and after a few minutes the security guard announced that the Banco Nacional kiosk was not buying any more dollars so people would have to go to the main office that I had just left. I explained to the guard that I wanted to exchange CRC for Euros or US Dollars. He indicated ‘no problem’ and with only one other person in front of me, it wasn’t long before I had divested myself of nearly all surplus Costa Rican currency.

Directly beneath my large apartment is a cafe and a Korean Restaurant. I decided to give the Comida Coreana a try. Inside, it was a long narrow canteen affair. I ordered Korean soup, which to put it kindly was just pot noodles with a few Julian vegetables thrown in. For the price of more than €12, I won’t be going back there again.

I managed to join Monday’s ‘Sit-and-Share’ meeting and then went for Fika (coffee and cake) which was very nice.

That’s it, the last full day of this adventure that started out as just some fantasy travel planning using the ‘Explore’ feature on Google Flights!

Good night.

Budget costs:

  • Korean Soup € 12
  • Fika large black coffee and cake € 4
  • Candó Living 1333 – city centre apartment booked through Booking.com € 46 per night.

Link to more images at @Kapikoy100

Links for reference and further reading: 

In Search of… something