Monday, October 19, 2009

Last night we walked to the little grocery store down the street. It was dark out (the sun sets at 5:30 year-round here) and there was a storm way off in the distance--we could see flashes of lightning, but it was too far away to hear the thunder.

The lightning was almost constant, literally happening at least every few seconds during the whole walk/shopping event, and it continued after we got home and then later. We heard thunder close to midnight, but the storm never got very close. I was kind of glad, because the intensity of the lightning (it lit up the whole sky) made it clear it was a big storm, and the last thing I wanted was to start worrying about the roof blowing off or someone getting struck by lightning.

It's actually been a very mild "winter" for this part of Costa Rica, apparently. October is usually a month-long deluge, but we've had moderate rain even by my standards, and I'm coming from Southern California. It sounds like it's global-warming induced--who'd have guessed?--and that it means a probable drought during the dry season (January-April). We've been advised to find a house with a well so when the water gets cut off we won't have to drink from malaria-infested puddles! Yay, adventure--it's SO much FUN!

I have to admit to a little giddiness happening right now. I don't really know why it's happening, except that I did sample some more of the local dried herbs (they were sprinkled on my pizza) and they were WONderful! Also, I just went for a walk in the rain. And, I don't know, we discovered the bakery truck! Which has donuts AND German rye bread! And is driven by a German baker from Liberia, which is almost two hours away! We also "do" the fruit and vegetable truck, and there's something unbelievably fun about climbing into the back of a truck to choose carrots that have just been picked. Plucked?

Another thing--the most important thing--that's making me happy right now is the Costa Ricans. They really do seem unusually happy, peaceful, and relaxed. The word "benign" keeps coming to mind--I keep thinking how nonthreatening people seem, in the best possible sense. One thing Joedy and I've noticed--we're maybe biased because we live next to a forest--is that there's less yelling here than we're used to. We haven't heard many (if any) parents yelling at their kids, or at one another--arguments are whispered, I guess. The other morning I woke up on the wrong side of bed (the smooshed cockroach side) and got very annoyed with Lula and almost followed through on my threats to spank her. Later I realized that this time last year I was giving a lot of spankings*, and it was not great. I realize I don't have a job to get up and go to, and that means I'm a lot less stressed about time, but I can't help thinking there's something else to it too--maybe it's all the greenery and high-grade oxygen?

Maybe it's that, or maybe it's that the Costa Ricans don't have an army. Whatever it is, I think--I hope!--it's had an effect on me too, and that I'll be mellow from now on instead of passive-aggressive**. That would be good for my surrounding environment, and would mean, I think, I'm headed in the right direction.

*my informant says I didn't give that many spankings

**and that I'm not actually passive-aggressive