It’s late, and he’s drinking gin.“Now look at the guys.“ Another sweep with the glass. “Guys like them, to get a girl like one of these in the States, they’ve gotta have three things. “All these guys,“ he says, “they’ve probably got one of those things. But I guarantee you, none of them have all three.“When you’re not drunk and the place is almost empty, this is what it looks like: There are tables just inside the door to the right, three rows of them between the windows fronting the street and the wooden rail that keeps people from tumbling off the raised platform that holds the main bar, which is huge, two peninsulas poking out in the shape of an upside-down U.
The Red Zone, a few dirty blocks around the Central Market. There’s four by the pay phones at the edge of Parque Morazan. They’ve all got their own turf close by, and the cabbies all know exactly where they are.
Also, it’s a gringo joint: There’s a crinkled American flag, like the ones newspapers printed after September 11, taped to one wall, and dozens of shoulder patches, left behind by American cops and firemen, tacked up behind the bar—San Francisco, Chicago, Detroit, New York City, Boynton Beach, Waynesboro, a hundred other little towns you’ve never heard of.
Eleven o’clock on a Monday morning during the Costa Rican rainy season and it’s all white boys at the bar, eight of them, except for one wobbly local named Fernando that the security guys keep trying to pour out the door.
In fact, the guy behind the desk in the Miami office won’t say anything at all—he just shakes his head at every question.)But the commercial tours account for just a fraction of the gringos renting women in Costa Rica.
(Only the truly inept and incompetent need to hire a middleman anyway.) Aside from the dedicated sex tourists, there are legions of part-timers, guys who come for some other reason and take a side trip, so to speak.