July 24, 2010
Yesterday I did take a bike ride to the Maxi Bodega, or department store, such that it is. Primarily went to get some planting pots and soil for vegetables. Was also able to find that chair cushion I was looking for, a drainage rack for drying dishes, some plastic ware (so I can stop using plastic bags to store coffee, etc.) and a few other items – like scissors. On the way there I almost was run over by someone passing another car in a no pass lane. The Maxi is about a mile away and not a hard ride, although it was warm and humid yesterday. Took my backpack, which turned out to be a good idea, since I bought too much stuff. Put some in the pack, some in the front basket and tied the rest to the rack in the back of the bike with bungee cords. Halfway back, the stuff in the back came loose and there I was running to pick up a planter in the middle of the road and reattaching everything. Anyway, now I have two vegetable planters with an assortment of seeds planted. Waited for the usual rain to water them but, of course, yesterday there was no rain.
I cannot say enough about how glad I brought this along. It is one of many I was given at trade shows the past 10 years. I had saved it in case it came in handy one day, and sure enough, it did. Very versatile tool – serves as my fishing tackle carrier, grocery carrier and will be used when I travel by air for short trips.
Mail and Michael
Michael came by this morning on his way to San Jose and New Mexico. He brought the mail that was sent to Quepos, including one magazine. Ahh, reading material! Mail and Skype conversations are great when you’re away like this. I remember in Vietnam how excited we would get when we received mail. I didn’t get a lot over there but when it came it was great. Now, of course, we just e-mail. Michael was able to sell all his stuff to his landlord so I didn’t get a chance to bid on his 32-inch flat screen TV. He bought it, a washing machine and a bunch of other stuff in Golfito before I arrived. There’s a free trade zone down there (about 4 hours away by car) where everything’s a lot cheaper. He arrived in an 8-seat van that he hired for $80 for the one-way trip. I have the guy’s card so now if I have any visitors I can hire him to take me to the San Jose airport to pick you up. $160 for a private van is much cheaper than a cab and probably not much more than if I were to rent a car, pay for gas and parking, and risk getting lost or in an accident in San Jose, where they drive a bit crazy. The cheapest way, of course, is to take the public bus, but that takes you to the bus station, where you have to get a cab to the airport and back to the bus station – and then endure a crowded bus ride. I’m going to try that method when I go to San Jose next month to finish up my residency paperwork so I’ll let you know how it goes. The bus top here is 3 blocks away; I can get an early bus and make a 9:30 appointment, go back to the station and return. Better for me to check it out alone than to subject a visitor to the uncertainties that I will navigate.
Before I left Sarasota, I created a 380-song music list in iTunes on my laptop. This meant going through all my CDs one-at-a-time. The CDs were then sold at my yard sale. I had all this music in my Mac but couldn’t transfer it to the laptop (my technology acumen once again showing it’s ugly head). I also brought along two iPod Shuffles that carry about 33 songs each. Why two? While I’m using one, the other is recharging, plus I can put different playlists on them. Somewhere along the line, the right side speaker in the headphones stopped working but I still go just about everywhere with my earplugs in – walking to the store or to play pool at night, riding to the post office. It’s really great to have my own music here with me.
New friend Jack
You might remember Jack, who I met two weeks ago at Tabacon with his friend, Don. Don’s back in the States. Jack is the one who owns that restaurant at the top of a mountain. Jack and I tried to connect last weekend but stuff got in the way. So, anyway, I biked to the north end of the beach today, tried to catch some bait and heard someone calling my name. Jack was out there running his dog. We got together tonight for some pool and, for me, some tequila. Good time. Jack would be a good addition to either of the Poker Pals groups. He has some similar life experiences as me and is writing a book. His is already 31 chapters, which makes me feel inadequate. Well, not really. Quality, not quantity. He says he’s going to Panama and wanted to know if I wanted to go with him. Hell yes! He has an SUV. It’s a 4-5 hour drive but the adventure sounds awesome. And trust me guys, he’s definitely straight. In fact, he’s the guy you want with you to melt the ice for senoritas.