There’s an expat in a bar called the Blue Marlin, which is on the ground floor of a pink hotel in downtown San José, Costa Rica.
He used to be a detective, did a bit of vice, enough to know how the world works, how people think. And they’ve gotta be a nice guy.“The expat takes a drink, studies the gringos again.
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.
There are TVs bolted to the walls and tuned to sports channels, because this is ostensibly a sports bar, and there are fish—stuffed fish, carved fish, and sculpted fish—mounted above the liquor shelves and dangling from the ceiling, because the “World Famous“ Blue Marlin is also ostensibly a fisherman’s bar, even though it’s hours away from any place where you might actually catch a fish.
Seven girls sit on stools in the back corner, smoking cigarettes and looking bored.