Friday, September 4, 2009

Ah, the joys of home cooking after seven days of eating on the road! Nothing like a heaping bowl of goldfish and two sizable mugs of white wine!

Having moved into our new home in Samara last night, we went shopping this morning for food and various essentials in Nicoya, the biggest town nearby. At the meat counter of the main grocery store, where a truck blasts great salsa in the parking lot to promote a particular brand of dairy products, I requested "bisteca para quatro" and was very happy that I'd been understood, even though four people cut in front of me in line beforehand.

We drove the thirty minutes home with our bisteca, four pieces of whiteish meat I think was pork, a bunch of other food, a bathtub and walker for Malko, and the rest of the cash we needed to give Pierre, our new landlord. Tonight we thought we'd eat the steak with steamed carrots and a salad, but something went wrong and everything turned out really gross. Totally yucky, totally inedible. The salad's ok, I guess, but it's sitting in a baking dish and somehow that throws it off for me. The house we've rented for the month is really cool, with tables made out of big slabs of tree trunk, a small swimming pool, screens on all the windows, WiFi (you can Skype us!), AC (which I don't think we'll use), two bathrooms, art on the white-painted walls, a washer and dryer, and lush plants all around, but the kitchen is VERY poorly equipped--there's no garlic press, no cutting board, no big bowls, only a dinky (broken) coffee maker, etc. I'm not complaining--Joedy and I will need to buy our own kitchen gear here anyway--but it did make for a disappointing first dinner in our new home. Although I did make up for it with goldfish and wine, and Joedy is at this very moment turning the sad hunks of overcooked bisteca into stew! Woo-hoo!

I absolutely mean it when I say I'm not complaining, because by golly and gum we almost lost this house because of good old me, and if we had lost it we would probably still be at Hotel Samara, hating the mildew-drenched upholstery and the fact that our cat, while traveling, interpreted Malko's car seat (Three. Separate. Times.) as the place to void his bladder and bowels. I'm very grateful that I didn't screw things up--I'm grateful Pierre took us back after I told him we didn't want the house after all and made the whole family drive six hours away to another town, one I thought was safer and better, less crocodiley, closer to a hospital, more populated with gringos--and I can honestly say that Samara feels right; I feel at home.

What happened is that my role as the Worry Monster got a little out of hand, and the night before we were originally supposed to move in I lay awake thinking about how I'd never let Malko and Lula in the ocean here (the crocodiles really DO swim from river mouth to river mouth, cruising through the waves of the two beautiful beaches Samara sits on), and in a sleep-deprived blaze of what I thought was sanity I decided there was no reason to stay in this town any longer, we needed to go. So in the morning I told Joedy this, and despite his request to sensibly, calmly, maturely investigate the threat of the crocodiles I didn't waver. And so I told Pierre we didn't want the (wonderful) place anymore. And made us all pack everything up AGAIN and drive AGAIN for the whole day.

And when we got to where I wanted to go (Manual Antonio), guess what? I hated it. I resented all the wealthy gringos sitting in the American-style restaurant we went to for dinner, the way they yukked it up (condescendingly, I thought) with the Costa Rican staff, all the goofy "tropical" attire,* the fact that "Ladies Night" and "Happy Hour" were proclaimed at every bend in the road, the fact that I found myself caring what these loaded ex-lawyers and ex-whatevers thought about me, the fact that I didn't feel like I was in real Costa Rica at all anymore but, like, a Disneyland Costa Rica.

The conclusion of this Idiot's Tale is that Joedy very kindly forgave me for making us leave Samara and Pierre very kindly took us on as renters, again. We left the next morning, and I was SO INCREDIBLY GLAD. We got here last night, and it looks like we might be in this town for a while. It's small, but bigger than Montezuma, and it's flatter, less densely forested. Horses wander around in the street in groups, shying and rolling their eyes like teenagers with too much attitude, and so far everyone I've raised the crocodile issue with confirms they're not una problema.

Everyone says moving to another country changes a person. I've decided it's going to change me by making me less of a worrier. Henceforth, when thoughts of crocs, snakes, scorpions, and rabid monkeys start creeping in, I'm going to channel Wanda Sykes. I saw her a few years ago on TV, and I loved the way she summed up her thoughts on deep issues: when someone asks her, for example, whether she prefers "paper or plastic," she casually tosses out "I don't give a fuck."

Crocodiles? I don't give a fuck. Long roads to emergency rooms? I don't give a fuck. Of course, I really do give a fuck, but egads--I've worried enough already. It's time to relax a little. And it's time to eat some more fucking goldfish.

*all charges of snobbery fully accepted


Anonymous said...

oh sister how I do love thee for thine neuroses, honestly I think it was a good idea to check out your options before settling, I mean come on, your gonna be living there right!

anyway, that picture of the five of them is too cute, I cant wait to come and see you and make you feel just right at home

besos y abrazos
nuria and oliver

Anonymous said...

You mean nobody told you that in that particular area of CR "bisteca" is slang for crocodile, preferably well-aged?

So, does your new place have wifi? When can we see it? Skype?

Great photo of Lula entertaining her little bro.

abrasive pesos,


Popo and Nernie said...

All I can say is WOW!!!!!!!!---What an adventure you are on ---You are married to a Free Spirit as he has always been---Life will always be full of adventure and surprises--- that's the way it is with a Free Spirited Warrior of the world --- Love and miss all--Popo and Nernie

Post a Comment