Monthly Archives: June 2012

Yep… Montezuma’s

The photo below is my granddaughter Lorelei posing patiently in order that you can see how large these plants actually are. Amazing. Everywhere!

Saw the mountains surrounding the central valley today for the first time. I guess I was so anxious I was only looking at what was immediately in front of me. Today on my way to my Spanish tutor I realized that if I let my eyes simply roam…. there they were! Holy Moly! Incredible! And I also discovered 2 other things today… first, I’ve learned some spanish! There are culprint events which assisted in this effort without my even realizing it: culprit one: a birthday party where everyone was Costa Rican but me (Costa Rican parties last all day and evening, btw…) and culprit two: watching Ace of Cakes in Spanish! Who knew??

After our session my tutor showed me where the Central Market was. She went off to the tram and I took myself into the market all unknowingly… and was I surprised! It took a concerted and conscious effort to keep my mouth shut as I gazed in wonder at all the fruits, veggies, and myriads of fresh meats, some of which were being cleaned and cut on top of the display cabinets in front of the stall! I felt like Anthony Bordain should be walking through with a film crew it was all so dramatically “other.”

And, finally, yes….. dirty/smelly water really is something you need to boil before drinking… silly me.

Montezuma Rhapsody?

 

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I don’t think so, although it sure seemed like it… I think I’ve discovered I’m allergic to fresh off the farm golden pineapples!  The photo here is a shot of the drive from the street into the property my house is on. Beautiful isn’t it? A lane of trees that you would consider houseplants! Once I figure out how to post a bunch of photos, I’ll share the entire property with you. In the meantime, this wonderful introduction must needs suffice. In the past week I’ve had a marvelous evening sleepover with my granddaughter Lorelei at my house; enjoyed an all-day birthday party of a sibling of my daughter in law; discovered a new allergy – and am considering pretty seriously that I’m allergic to studying Spanish as well! This is not an easy undertaking, no matter what age or situation you are in. I want to learn the language because I’m so isolated without it. As each day goes by it’s another day I haven’t put a dent in it because I haven’t taken the effort as seriously as I understand I need to. I can only be a newby in a tiny town for so long, right? And the taxi drivers all know who I am now. I get in the taxi and without saying anything they know where I want to go. So, I must progress. Expletive deleted to the max, I must tax my brainpan into understanding verbs these next two days before I meet with my tutor again. It’s imperative. She’s taking this tutoring much more seriously than I am because she is speaking only in Spanish now, so my lag time is up and I have to pay attention and get with the program. Allergies are way underrated, especially when it has something to do with learning a new language!

Butterflies

ImageYou’d think, wouldn’t you, that after 4 weeks in a new country I’d be gadding about madly and enjoying all this new country has to offer. But… you know the punchline… NOT. I’ve been so wrapped up worrying about this and that… that I had to be led by the nose to begin enculturating myself beyond the daily trip to the Supermarket. Yeah, butterflies in the gut big time. But, now it’s happening. I started Spanish classes today with a wonderful teacher who wields a very large, if tangential, whip. She gave me the usual lecture about why don’t I do anything, staying at home, when I have all this beautiful country and available resources – for free – for people my age to gather and speak Spanish and maybe dance a little bit. Okay, the butterflies really fluttered at that one. She’s gonna force me to be social while she’s teaching me. She considers it part of the class. Ye Gads! I said, with a tear in my eye, that I would try. She’s not the only one… everyone is social here. Everyone talks to everyone and asks them personal questions without the slightest hesitation. I am not in Norte Americano anymore. Add another layer to Ye Gads! I take the bus to a city called Heredia (60 cents). It’s a school bus painted nicely and rides just the same as you remember. Half an hour there and back in the most beautiful scenery! As I was riding home after our first class today, feeling as if I’d really accomplished something on my own, I thought “She might have something at that!”

ImageI thought it would be interesting to share costs of my recent shopping trip. So many people want to know what the real costs of living here are. Hopefully the following will help a bit. Remember that all fruits, vegetables and eggs are grown in the vicinity of the store. Sides of beef are hanging in the room immediately behind the butcher’s case, which is an interesting twist, so to speak. Here’s a list of what I purchased that will last me about 4-5 days. I already have black beans and rice galore and spices available at home. So here goes: package of tortilla chips 1.95, one large/medium carrot .21, one bunch of cilantro .23, 2 large tomatoes 1.24, 2 large beautiful and delicious avacados 1.82, 4 chicken legs (2x size of what you’re used to) 2.15, half pound of hamburger 3.87, a large white onion .76, 4 bananas .16, and 9 eggs 1.89. Add to that the taxi ride home, 1.60, and the total for the shopping comes to $17.09.

Rock ‘n Roll…

Last night while watching tv my couch turned into a rocking boat. My eyes got delighted, not scared! It was the result of the 6.6 earthquake in Panama. It felt like water moving in swells underneath the couch and I was floating on it. Amazing.

A couple of days before, I did get a teensy bit scared, tho. That was because my house was hit by lightening while I was in it. Yikes! Ya know when you see a lightening strike outside and the world turns a vibrant, inexplicable white? I was in the middle of it. I heard the fizzy sound, the breakers flipped, the entire world including the inside of my house became that blazing whiteness and I had time to only say the “E” in “Eh?” before my body bolted up off the couch without any help from me. By the time my backside hit the couch again, it was over.