June 6, 2010, part 2
Well, back with my laptop and feeling whole once again. Only a day to fix so I’m pretty happy with the shop. Cost was about $30. Seems my Kaspersky aintivirus software needed an update, which I knew but was putting off until I got Internet at my apartment. Trouble is, it shut my machine down because I didn’t download the update. Never heard of that. While I was at the shop, bought a set of Logitech speakers (3 @ $30) so that I can play my music on my laptop and actually get some volume and depth to the music. I even managed to set it up and configure it by myself. Must have been easy, I guess, if I could do it. Anyway, now I basically have a multimedia center with my laptop.
Killed most of the morning today window shopping for a new camera. I’ve concluded there is no repair shop here and I need to bite the bullet on the expense. Went to three stores and the prices were similar although the variety varied from store to store. Couldn’t pull the trigger as I wanted to see what the laptop was going to cost first. Tomorrow, that will be my task for the day.
Most everyone who knows me knows I have two passions and it was necessary that I satisfy those to make me happy, regardless where I lived. Well, I discovered one of those last night. I decided to take my cue stick out for a walk and to find someplace to play. I had already found a soda with three tables, completely on the other side of town from me. However, they do not even sell even there. It was to be my default location to play if my search was unsuccessful. I went into the bar district brandishing my stick hoping someone would know what I was carrying but not really expecting anyone to notice. Two guys did notice and hailed me down on the street. One made motions like he was shooting a shot and spoke some English. Said he was the champion of the town, so I said “let’s play.” He then walked me across the bridge on the north part of town and to an old building where there were – miraculously – four pool tables and several people playing. One table is in excellent shape, a second was OK and the other two were covered. Two guys were playing 9-ball on the best table and my guide introduced me as a new resident and pool player. On the table was this tall, old white guy who appeared very good. He was playing a Tico who I was told was the best there. A few other Ticos were watching.
I told the older white guy (who I was told was loud and profane – both of which he demonstrated) that I’d like to get into a game. He told me he was playing the other guy and when they were done I could play. No cutting in I guess. So, in my usual manner, I sat and waited. Finally, one of the guys watching asked if I was interested in playing on the second table. Are you kidding? We played five games and he probably played for free, as I paid the owner 700 colonnes (about $1.50) when I was done. This guy beat me 3-2 but I still need to get used to the tables, the surroundings and the other players. We just played 9-ball, which as some of you know is not my best game. It was very humid and the tables were slow. This place is an easy walk for me but I will need to bring my own refreshments tonight.
Sidewalks and streets
Someone commented/asked about the sidewalks. I think the comment was at least there are sidewalks. Well, sort of. You don’t want to walk around here without looking where you are walking. The sidewalks will turn into gaps, there are “speed bumps” in places that you will trip over, or drops of a few inches – or the sidewalk will suddenly end. Often, you find yourself walking on the side of the road, which is no bargain either. Narrow streets, sometimes only wide enough for one vehicle to pass. If your vehicle goes over the edge, it really goes off the edge. Streets are lined with 12-inch gutters that drop straight down from the roadway. Traffic seems to go where it wants, dodge cars is a pedestrian game and you have to be on the lookout for safe walking areas. The streets in my neighborhood are so pothole filled there may be more space devoted to potholes than pavement.
Yesterday, one of my goals was to get myself a PO box. My neighbor Michael said it was a snap so I did it on my own. The postal guy did not understand ANY English but did manage to explain to me (sign language mostly) that I needed a copy of the first page of my passport to apply. Then you do a contract. Trouble is, they did not have copying service. He told me where I could get copies but I had no idea where he was saying. The computer store was my next stop and Alejandro there spoke English and gave me directions. The store was a little side place across from the fried chicken fast food place (yes, we have fried chicken fast food but it is not a name you would know). Got two copies of my passport just in case I needed a second one later (15c each). Back at the post office – directly across the soccer field – and was given a form to fill out. It was in Spanish. The clerk and I struggled with it for a bit before a young guy at the counter helped me out. As you know from a previous e-mail I now have an address. It was funny, though, because they wanted the address of where I live but I told them there is no street name or building number. We put yellow where it asked for the color of the house and used the post office as the address.
My second passion is still a work in progress. Tried the river again yesterday. Low tide. This time I brought some bacon to use as bait in an attempt to catch something that I could use as cut bait. The bacon flew off the hook on my first cast and the weight caught on the rocky bottom on my second. Packed it in. On my way back decided to cross the bridge to the north to check out the fishing dock area there for locals. Lots of residential up there but I didn’t see anything looking like a place to buy bait. The river, BTW, is the local sewer. Everyone’s waste dumps there so the fish are not edible. I did see a small crocodile, though, about 6-7 feet, floating in the river. The day before I also tried the river and there was this little, scrawny guy fishing with a handline. I guess he took pity on me because he came over and tried to show me what I should be using – a small fly-type lure he was casting. I saw this same guy the day before carrying 3 small fish that he had caught this way. They were about bait size for me but he was taking them home to cook – e coli coliform and all.