July 28, 2012
There’s no chapter in The Girl’s Guide To Surfing that talks about how to handle agro locals. So when this big (like Olympic weightlifter big) Tico guy starts chatting me up, I say hi but ultimately opt to disengage conversation. Head high sets are rolling in, they need my full attention.
Unfortunately, my dark skinned Casanova does not understand the avoidance tactic. He sees my coolness as disrespect, when really it’s pure survival. Making plans is hard to do when you’re thinking about being slammed by the falls.
“Get out of my water you fucking Gringa!” he lashes out.
Damn. Perhaps I should have been a tad more convivial.
“What’s your problem dude?” I yell back. “Just let me surf.”
“Fucking Gringa,” he repeats then paddles in front of me. A round wave starts to lift him up and he turns to take it.
We lock eyes.
I know it. He knows it. If he goes for it, he could easily rip right over me. Like a deer in headlights, I sit there, frozen.
He eases off.
I exhale and catch the next one back to the beach, totally rattled. The last time I felt this assaulted was when the stingray got me.
Back at the hostel, a stiff Vodka Seven (with a twist) leads to an early sleep. I drift off picturing obnoxious closeouts, wishing my Hawaiian brother was still around to surf with, and hoping my next encounter with Casanova happens on land, not water.