No…it’s not what you are thinking. We are not now donkey farmers. We are not waiting for asses , as there are plenty of those already under roof (the smart kind, of course). “Mules” are those that come to Costa Rica (like friends and visitors) who can bring us some of the stuff we cannot get here or cannot get reasonably priced. Well, the first one arrived this week. Hubby’s nephew from England. We got some “real” tea!, suntan lotions and Quavers (British snack chips). Very exciting stuff. He also brought some fishing gear which has made the husband extremely happy. We have some more mules coming in a few weeks (friends from Florida) and then my daughter returns to the States the first of November . It will feel like Christmas for her as I excitedly re-acquaint myself with my dear friend Amazon to ship her supplies while there. (Christmas for me….)
The language transition remains my daily entertainment. I have begun Spanish lessons with a local friend, as I am the contact person (phone-wise) for the fishing business. He tells me I’m coming along great and I feel pumped…until I hear people speaking around me and can pick up very few words. It’s sad to see how many expats here who have no desire to learn the language. Why not? I HATE being in the dark. Some of the expats are embarrassing. Instead of learning Spanish, they have compromised their English and speak like uneducated children. “I say to man at store. You come to my house. You help me. I call you tomorrow.” We’ve made a friend here who speaks like this. Nonstop. Even to US. We were in the pet food store the other day and he says to me, “You get treats for you dog? You buy these. My dog like these.” After already being with him the past 2 hours…my American lack of patience kicked in. I said to him “I speak English. You don’t have to talk to me like that.” (Not that he “has” to talk to anyone else like that.) Well….habits are hard to break. My suggestion went unnoticed. He even emails me in the same sentence (or lack thereof) structure. It drives me crazy. Today he told me “I taking nap”. Whatever…
Speaking of language barriers, it is also comical that we are now doing some business matters with a local who has just as much trouble with his translation to English as I do to Spanish. When we met, he referred to himself as “Zero Zero Siete”. (007) He also calls himself Action Jackson. He is the one who is going to help us get some things filed with the municipalities, etc associated with corporate fishing licenses and permits that need to have the ownership information updated and changed. He emails me in English and I understand half of what he is requesting. After we get these things done, he has offered to help us get our residency. It is DEFINITELY a “who you know” world…everywhere. Case in point: if you are in an accident of ANY kind, you best have a local friend or local witness with you. The policia here (notice I threw in a Spanish term) listen to the locals (Ticos) and may not even ASK you (the Gringo) about your side of the incident. Haven’t experienced this personally, but have heard many stories.
We traveled to Santa Cruz to check out the markets there. Some of the locals refer to Santa Cruz as a “big city”. In that regard, it was very unfulfilling. To me, it was closer to Mayberry. Consisted of a bunch of Goodwill -type stores advertising “Ropas Americana” (American clothes). Also a number of markets, pharmacies, and small goods stores. We did come across some great deals in their grocery (as it isn’t a tourist area) and the butcher shop there is incredible…even to someone who doesn’t eat meat. It’s a bit of a step back into time. We witnessed our first Costa Rican funeral procession. They walk. Yes. WALK. The poor pallbearers, wearing their Sunday best, walking through the streets carrying a casket. Is was quite somber. In the States, you travel to the funeral in the privacy of your car. Here, you AND your emotions are walking down the street on display to the others at a very personal and grievous time.
We had some great charters this past week and met some great people. I love this part of the business. This week we met people from Massachusetts, California, Texas, Georgia, and Wisconsin. We had a group of 6 that travel the world together, annually. We also had a honeymoon couple that were in their early 20s and had already been together for 9 years. October is supposed to be the slowest month of the year, so that will be challenging. However, we have a lot going on this month with the nephew’s 2 week visit, our upcoming visit from friends, and our move from our current house into what we hope is our “forever home” while here in Costa Rica.
It’s amazing we’ve been here 2 months. Half of the time, we are not even sure what day of the week it is without looking. We are truly “settling in” and hubby is even starting to look like a local…very tanned…long hair. Apparently, we are entering hippiedom. He with the long hair and deep tan..and I have the ponytail, no make-up and flip flop look….feeling like kids again…in our 50’s…..