We cut out of work a little early on Friday to see the downtown of San José and get some lunch and souvenirs for the trip home. We headed to a little cafe called Kalá that had amazing salads, sandwiches, and desserts. I had all three and was suitably stuffed by the time we left. My personal highlight was definitely the basil crème brûleé. Ever since my amazing awakening to strawberry and basil during entrepreneurial month last year when I had french toast with Yaz, I haven’t been able to dispense with basil as a great pair with sweet foods. Note to self–must make more basily things.

It rained a little bit on the metal corrugated roof that covered the patio at which we ate and the sound was almost exactly like one of those touristy rain sticks you can buy. I see, now, why they’re so popular and available everywhere. Oh yeah, every one here uses corrugated metal for everything. Apparently you can just pop a slab of this stuff on your house and call it a roof. It’s deafening, but de-facto standard here. It’s kind of amazing, and I keep thinking how easy it would be to build a house out of the stuff, provided it never needed to keep warm in the winter. I think tropical weather makes people lazy.

We decided to go to the mall to look for souvenirs, and hit the supermarket first. The prices are about the same as the US, and we got a lot of decent stuff for the prices. The mall, itself, when we got out there, was enormous. I’ve been to big malls in SF, and this one put them to shame. It was 3 levels in places, and had shops stretching pretty much as far as the eye could see. I think the number of shops actually rivals the great mall in Milpitas. Not so great anymore, are you?

The evening was topped off with talk of politics and rum, and the real adventure began the next day, when we got up at 3:30 am to head out.