This morning’s awakening came courtesy of a elaborately philosophical bird that was asking me a question at 5.30 a.m. I forget the question but remember it had a dependent clause, something on the order of “Who are you when there’s no soap?” A very wry bird, or maybe just sarcastic.
Last evening and occasionally today I’ve thought of yesterday’s trip in from the airport. An iguana ran across the road, and the shuttle’s co-driver exclaimed, “Soup!” I believe there’s a standing joke among Ticos about Nicaraguans having an appetite for iguana meat.
I left at 6.30 a.m. for a stroll on the beach. In the alley leading there, I recognized a woman from my previous visits to Tamarindo. She was hosing down the dust. We said good morning, and I asked if there was going to be rain. It was rather cloudy, but she acted like I was nuts. Rain in the dry season?
I got the same reaction last night when ducking into Super 2001 for a roll of paper towels just before the 9.00 p.m. closing. I stood in line behind a shirtless hippie dude. When he left I told the cashier and assistant manager that in the States we have a saying: No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service. The assistant manager was incredulous, rolling his eyes.
“Why?” he asked.
“Health reasons,” I said.
But I went away thinking that it might have more to do with fussy people, of the same sort as me, not wanting to look at hairy bellies.
Things to do today:
- Go up the hill to Hotel Chocolate and inform the manager that I won’t be checking in there after all. I like Portofino much better. The only thing wrong with this place is the lack of a coffeemaker in the kitchen. However, I do wish I’d brought my own washcloth. I’ve already told Claudia, the manager, who is Colombian, that I want to stay through March 9. It’s $22 per night less, is far less dusty, sits closer to the beach, and has hot water. Neither place wants guests to flush paper down the toilet, so they’re even on that score.
- Go shopping for matches for the gas cooker and a brush for washing dishes.
- Get started reading the pertinent sections of Dick Osgood’s “Wyxie Wonderland: (An Unauthorized 50-Year Diary of WXYZ Detroit)” for my next “Closing Bell” story for DBusiness. Among many, many other programs that the station originated in the 1930s, it created “The Lone Ranger” and “The Green Hornet,” later selling screen rights to both.
- Return to the beach for sunset.
During breakfast today I learned that the Spanish word for squirrel is ardilla. I wasn’t eating squirrel for breakfast, just watching a pair of gray ones in the trees. I think it would be better to be a red squirrel in Michigan than a gray squirrel in Costa Rica, where it’s always hot. Squirrels shouldn’t mind a bit of cold.
All the e-mail and comments on the blog are appreciated.
Marisel, the maid, born in the city of Nicoya, is here, and I’m telling her about the snow, freezing temperatures, and cold winds of Michigan. Of course she’s never seen snow.