We've been driving around a bit at night since we moved to Carla's house. Petra has found it difficult to settle into a sleep routine in yet another new place so we've needed to drive her to sleep. Before we packed up in Costa Rica, she went to bed between 8 and 9 most nights and got up around 8. After the movers took away our stuff, the routine went all to buggery (as they(we?) say here in NZ). Petra's a mellow, placid, amenable baby, who never seems to get really cranky no matter how tired she might be, but she's an accomplished resister of sleep. She stays up and up until I feel about ready to fall over without ever showing much in the way of ill-effects. It's impressive and rather daunting.
We had periods in San Jose when we needed to drive Petra around as well. We developed a regular route – along the old main road to Multiplaza and back home via the pista. However, being on the road there late at night is not entirely safe. We kept our doors locked and when we had to stop at red lights we watched for people behaving suspiciously because carjacking is a definite possibility. In fact, after 10 at night, you can drive through red lights if there's no oncoming traffic so that you're not a target for thieves. And Costa Rican driving is hazardous to your health at any time of the day, but especially on Friday and Saturday nights when everyone's been out drinking. People drive drunk without compunction.
We haven't devised a route here yet, I've just been pootling around aimlessly showing Travis new areas of town. We drove along the main street the other night, past bars and restaurants full of festive end-of-year students, and past groups of meandering pedestrians. I noticed myself looking for the central locking in our rental car and being disconcerted when I didn't find it and had to leave the doors unlocked. I've also noticed that I avoid the darker streets in our travels. I didn't even realise that I was on heightened alert in Costa Rica, but I must have been, and I've brought that extra alertness with me.
Something was said about safety in Costa Rica at our little party yesterday and Travis said that he feels a bit vulnerable being out at night in an unlocked car. So it's not just me. We're both still jumpy after our time in San Jose. The Dunedinites were all very surprised. Carjacking's just not a consideration here and it would never occur to anyone to feel unsafe. I didn't think it would ever occur to me either, but it seems that I've got some newly-acquired wariness to shake off.