I despise San Jose. Truly, it is possibly my least favorite city, next to Los Angeles. It is dirty and cold and there are just way too many people, too many cars and too much concrete. I don’t know why anyone lives there. (other than every person I talked with told me in Spanish: “too much heat in Quepos!”)
That being said, I did have to go there a few weeks ago. I purposefully booked a morning flight and an afternoon flight so I was only there for a few hours and did not have to stay overnight. I had an appointment for a check up at Clinica Biblica in downtown San Jose (which is a $50 round trip taxi fare from San Jose International) and while I was there, the doctor I was seeing ordered some blood work and got me in to see a specialist. He also gave me some medication, free of charge (always nice when they go into their cabinets and pull out free meds!).
The hospital itself was very nice, modern and clean. The staff were all helpful and friendly and some spoke English. Surprisingly, efficiency is definitely a strength. Before I even got on the plane to return home, the blood work results had been emailed to me. And a few days before I arrived, I received two text messages on my phone, reminding me of the appointment and asking me to confirm (it’s surprising that the country is capable of sending out messages like this but cannot get the voicemail function to work on cell phones).
From what I’m told from a friend, the cafeteria has good food (actually, she said they had really good and cheap empanadas) and there’s a hotel attached to the hospital for people who have to stay overnight for family or friends. I didn’t go to the cafeteria as I really just wanted to get back to the airport. Of course, at the airport, I found myself paying $9 for a veggie sandwich at Quiznos so I guess I should have eaten at the cafeteria.
It was an expensive, long and tiring day but all in all, the photos I got from the plane made it worthwhile. :-) And I should also mention that my friend Michelle’s organization, Equilibrium, has hopes to create a more green San Jose, building gardens and parks in the more concrete-dense areas. A good sign for the future of the city…