Nov. 26, 2010
Cost of delivery
Last year, I sent Christmas gifts of Vermont maple syrup, bacon and pancake mix to family, and bought some for myself, as well. The maple syrup company, a small farm in Vermont, sent me an e-mail for this year so, just for kicks I asked what the shipping cost for three pints of syrup would be. $30 of syrup would cost me $50 to ship to Costa Rica. Guess I will not be doing that. Shipping packages here is very expensive, I’ve found, and usually negates any savings you might gain from ordering off the Internet. Plus, you risk it being stolen en route or having to pay import taxes on what’s inside. This is why when expats go back to the States for a visit, they usually bring along an empty suitcase to bring back all those special items you can’t get here, or are too expensive here.
I think I may have a pregnant cat on my hands, or at the hands of the neighborhood. Turns out the little b_____h cozies up to several people, including Jim (more later), who I recently met because he has this really hot girlfriend who does karaoke at Club Ole. Anyway, they feed Scat, too. Jim says she’s pregnant, and after looking at her tonight, I think he’s right. I didn’t think she would be capable until at least January. So, does anyone want a Spanish-speaking kitten?
Maybe it’s the water, but I’m starting to see a trend. I recently met two expats and had interesting conversations with both. I haven’t really noticed any friendliness among the gringos here, Jack being an exception, so you have to go out of your way to meet others. The other day in the grocery (Mas por Menos) I recognized a guy from my complex (he lives two doors down) as we passed each other in the aisle. When we passed each other again I decided to take the initiative and introduced myself. He identified me as the guy with the screen door. In no time at all he began to give me his life’s story – 56 years old, a musician who had skin cancer and has to wear a hat and long-sleeve shirts when he goes out. Weird, I thought, to get all this information right out of the box. The next day, when I came back from picking up a few things for Thanksgiving dinner, I saw Jim outside his house, which is just outside the gate of my complex. I met Jim at Club Ole when his girlfriend was singing karaoke. She was not there but he immediately invited me in to show me his place that he was reconstructing and to show me the furniture he makes. He’s quite a carpenter. His place has three bedrooms and two small apartments in back. He gave me a thorough tour while this young woman from North Carolina looked on. Jim had a construction business in the States that he gave to his sons before moving here.
What I found strange about both these encounters was the willingness, maybe the need, to tell me their life stories. I wonder if that’s a trait I will continue to see.
Pretty uneventful. I fixed my poor man’s dinner – chicken, green beans, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce – and made enough for Jack should he want to share. We decided, however, to go to JacoTaco for the turkey dinner and all the gringos. Unfortunately, the skies opened up at 4 and the deluge didn’t stop until 8, so we didn’t go. I ate some of what I cooked (not as good as Mark’s spread, that’s for sure), made up a couple of plates for the homeless couple I see all the time on main street, and set out to deliver the meals and go play some pool at Tabacon. Pretty much a day like any other here.