Farmers’ market/mail call

Sept. 18, 2010

Farmer’s market

Finally checked out the local farmers’ market Friday. They only set it up on Friday here. I’m told a lot of the sellers go from town to town with their produce, so some of the same people might have been at the farmers’ market in Quepos when I lived there. Anyway, the Jaco version is modest and I found nothing I actually needed to buy. The prices didn’t look all that different from the grocery stores. The market is in the same vicinity at the south end of town as the post office and Jack’s place so I visited both. Had two pieces of mail, which was nice (described below) and Jack was home so we chatted a bit and decided to play pool that night. Jack likes to talk about the girls and recounted how Jasmine (see previous report about her at Ole) would call him incessantly, as would other women he had connected with. “You reap what you sow,” I told him in my best Moses impression. I guess having pretty women call you all the time is a bad thing, at least when there’s money involved. He says my time will come.

Mail call

Always good to get mail but it’s a crap shoot if I have any. Post office is at the opposite end of town so I go about once every two weeks. One package was from my daughter and included a magazine and a nice letter. Letters are good – and so old school. Good stuff!  I always bring a card with “correo para Ken Anderberg” written on it (mail for Ken Anderberg) to show the clerk. He then goes through two drawers in a back room to look for my name. I could reserve a P.O. box but I’m waiting for January when the leases turn over again. You pay the same price for a box whether you get it in September or January. As long as the current systems works, don’t think I need the box.


Lost in the weekly tournament at Tabacon again Thursday night, but at least this time we played 9-ball the way it’s played in the States. Also met a young dentist (Heiner) who was playing who spoke pretty good English. His girlfriend (Karen – cute) was with him and she spoke excellent English. Turns out she worked at a call center in San Jose before she moved to Jaco two months ago to be with her boyfriend, who moved here 11 months ago. He said the opportunities were better here for him than in the big city.  

As an interesting aside, my Mother used to chide me in her letters about my habit of going out to bars at night. “Can’t find the right kind of people there,” she used to say. “Better to go to the museum.” It seems, however, that I’ve been able to meet really good people (and some really not-so-good people) at bars playing pool. A dentist is not bad. A restaurateur is not bad. A jeweler is not bad. A lawyer is not bad (well, maybe). An ex-CIA hit man – well at least he’s a good one to watch your back. all of those types have been met in a bar. So, maybe Mama wasn’t right on that one.

Post office/Club Ole/Beatle Bar

July 13, 2010

The post office (correo)

Took a ride before breakfast to the post office to see if my second package from my daughter had arrived from Quepos (Michael was forwarding it). This means biking through the whole town down main street, so it’s best to keep alert. Stopped at the ATM and then asked for the correo, since I didn’t find it where I thought it was. Turned out it was there, it just is almost invisible – not like the prominence they have visually in the U.S. They have one small sign in front of a dilapidated building. I brought two translations – one asking if there was any mail for me and another asking about the P.O. boxes, which I was told were on a waiting list. My mail hadn’t arrived yet but they do have boxes. Looks like they just added a whole bank of them. Unfortunately, I need a copy of the first two pages of my passport and I couldn’t find the spare I made in Quepos. I put it somewhere for safekeeping and now don’t know where I put it. By the time I returned home it had begun raining, with a downpour shortly thereafter. When it stops, it’s a trip to the MegaSuper for groceries. Hope they have maple syrup and the large packages of bacon today.

Club Ole

Decided to try the Tico bar last night, but both tables were busy. Decided to do my usual – buy a beer and stare at the players until someone invited me to play. The Pilson was the cheapest I’ve found in town, just 1,000 colones ($2). The tables are free. After drinking half the beer I decided to be aggressive and walked over to the table with two guys playing (one badly) and asked if they knew English. One did and I asked if I could join them. The bad player spoke a little English and let me take on his friend, who proceeded to beat me like a drum. Actually, I just played terribly, probably the result of not having any competition for a week (that’s my story an I’m sticking to it). Anyway, it was a good time.

Beatle Bar (

Going to Club Ole or farther down to Jaco Taco ( requires walking past the Beatle Bar. Sunday night, it looked like a fresh crop of tourists had arrived, as there was a line of taxis outside and more than the usual number of women in tight dresses and high heels. Time to make the rent, girls! Last night, it was just about as active. I read online the bar has two tables and the beer is reasonable. If I want to shoo the pretty girls away, who are only interested in your money, I can try here for pool.

Limon and Chacarita/Puntarenas

I’m still looking at these as possible relocation targets. There’s a nice apartment available in Pontarenas but it might not be by the end of the month (they offered me a discounted rent of $450 but only 3 units were still available). I may rent a car and take a day trip there shortly. Limon (Puerto Limon – is another story and will require a longer trip and more expenses. It is on the Caribbean coast. The pros: might be a little cheaper, the surf is not nearly as heavy. Cons: insects may be a problem, possibly more crime, a good bit further from San Jose and a mostly African-Caribbean population. The drive from Jaco is 5-6 hours each way, so it would have to be at least a 3-day trip. Need to get my nerve up for that one. There’s no hurry, though, an attitude I’m getting more and more in to.