I woke up in my hammock. I had forgotten why I was there for a moment, looked up, and saw someone taking pictures of the 30-odd hammocks surrounding me. Little did I know that I would be spending the next few days and every waking minute with this blonde photographer.
I sat up and asked if he wanted to go to the beach. I heard his thick German accent and didn't need to ask his origin. We walked around, swam, walked around. He bought us beer all day, we lay in the sun and talked about our biggest fears. We both refused to tell each other our names, so we just called one another Fraulein for the first 24 hours. He and I watched the waves while eating caramel fudge ice cream. We walked along the beach and found a rusty 'ship' washed up on the shore, called this Captain Morgan's abandoned ship, and searched for his hidden treasure.
This mystery man is Ule. (oo-lee) He is indeed German, and lives in Denmark. We are the same age. Ule will be graduating with his business degree a year from now, and he has two goals post-graduation. One is to open a ski lodge of his own in Canada, Banff to be specific. The other is to open a gay retirement home on the island of Ibiza, Spain. This is not a word of a lie.
Bailey: "What day is it?"
Ule: "Someday between Monday and Sunday. I think..."
And, the romantic setting we find ourselves in is called Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. This town is a fantastic little place, but it also rained us out. One night it was raining so hard I didn't bother to change from my bathing suit to go to dinner with Ule. We arrived a few doors down from our hostel looking like we had just come from Niagara Falls. The waiter ushered us in with a large grin on his face and once he had returned with our drinks, he asked me if I was cold. I said yes. He asked me if I was wet. I said yes. "Do yooou whaaaanna towelle?" I said yes right away without even thinking. He took our order and then we saw him walk across the street. A few minutes later he came back without a dry inch on his body and under his arm he was holding a beach towel. He put it around me and told me to keep it. Does anyone even think of this kind of hospitality in North America? Anywhere?