Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Interview Number One

Today was the first of my interviews with the bilingual schools.  The interview went well, but there's a whole story attached.  Read on if you please...

I took a bus in San Jose and arrived about 15 minutes early.  In an attempt to calm myself down, I went and sat near the National Theater to pass the time.  A man then came up and asked me if I wanted to participate in a very quick questionnaire.  With time to kill, I agreed.  The first question was "Do you speak English?", my answer "Yes".  The second questions "Do you want to learn English?", after looking at him sort of crazy like I said "No".  He then went on to explain that they could offer scholarships to go to a certain language school to learn English.  I told him I wasn't interested.  Next he asked if I had any siblings, cousins or other family who wanted to learn English.  I told him "no".  This whole conversation took place in Spanish and I don't know if he didn't recognize my accent, or was just an idiot.  But why in the world would you try to get a gringa to enroll in English classes?

After laughing a bit to myself, I went to find a taxi that could take me to the high school.  It's not a super well known location and was a good bit away so I had to ask more than one taxi.  Eventually one guy knew and I took a 5000c ($10, geeze!) taxi ride up to the school.  And what a school it is.  It's freaking beautiful, and giant, and just great looking.  I met with the principal and he didn't ask me any interview questions.  He basically described the job I would do and then asked if I could do it.  I assured him I could.  One thing that struck me as weird was he asked to see "my papers".  Well in order to get a work permit in Costa Rica, you must first be sponsored by a job.  (For anyone interested, just found this sweet website about working in CR.)  I explained this to him and he told me every time they've hired foreigners before, they've always already had a visa.  Hmm...  It makes me nervous to know I had to explain to my employer how one obtains a work visa.  But he says he'd be find sponsoring me, so I guess everything's alright?

After the interview, I decided to walk down to the main road to get a taxi into San Jose centro, where I would then get my bus back to Pavas.  I was almost at the main road when a random guy hops off a bus and asks me if I'm going to San Jose.  I tell him I am, and he tells me to get on the bus.  So I do.  The traffic was a nightmare and I'm really glad I paid one flat, low rate for the ride instead of going on an expensive taxi meter.  The final stop for the bus I was one was about a 1 - 1.5 mile walk from my Pavas stops.  With the weather being nice, and the traffic being so horrible, I went ahead and strolled my way to the stop.

Once I got to the stop, a man asked me if I was waiting for the bus to Rohrmoser.  I told him I was.  He then asked did the bus pass by Oscar Arias' house (former president of CR) and I was happy to be able to tell him yes.  This is something I would have never known had Oscar (my Oscar) never pointed it out to me.  Though I guess I also wouldn't have known where the bus stop for Pavas was either.

Anyways, in the end the interview went really well.  I think I have a good chance of landing a job there.  I have two more schools where I will interview, and a second (all Spanish) interview at this first school.  Here's to hoping.

Oh and one final thing that I forgot to add to my Nicaragua post!  Most of you should know that Latinos love their tchotchke.  Street vendors will sell you barking dogs, dancing clowns, and angels of fine tchotchke quality, but you will find a gold mine at border crossing.  I have never seen such grade A, quality tchotchke shit before in my life.  I couldn't resist to buy one.  So here it is, Oscar and I in Nicaraguan Shell Chicken form!

Nicaraguan tchotchke!