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Published: October 12th 2005
Amigo in the rain
Come in out of the rain silly horse!
“Rainy days and Mondays always….” and Tuesday through Sunday as well
Yep, it is raining here. My guess is two inches a day but don’t quote me on that. I need to find a rain meter. Yes, I know it does rain in many places throughout the world, but frankly, I’m not used to two seasons—rainy and dry—rather, four seasons! I won’t miss the snow in the northeast this winter though. While many of you are clearing the snow off of your cars or facing higher oil and electric bills (sorry!), I’ll be here sitting outside looking at the crisp blue sky and enjoying temperatures in the 70s or low 80s.
The rain does not bother me as much here, however, as it did back in Washington. It is usually a warm rain, happens in the late afternoon (good for siesta!) and in the evening. Usually—but not this week—it is clear in the morning and early afternoon. It certainly makes everything very green. It is great for planting. Just put flowers or plants in the ground and nature takes it from there. However, it is raining so much today, even Osita and Reina look bored.
I am told the superfluity of rain this month and last (October is the worst month of the rainy season I’m told) is largely due to those spiteful hurricanes that hit the Gulf Coast with a vengeance recently, and currently, some tropical wave activity (“Come on, everybody do the wave!”) throughout the Gulf and Pacific Ocean/Caribbean Sea that is causing low pressure systems to continually spawn over Central America. We are actually in better shape than in Guatemala and Honduras, though; they’ve had even more rain and many mudslides, burying whole towns in some cases.
Every time I need to do something related to the horses, it seems to be raining! Great transition to a new topic, eh? But finding the horses while it is raining is even worse, and today I was in that situation. I walked outside to feed them this morning and they were not roaming as they usually do in the field directly in front of the house. They were not down the hill as they often are, either. After scratching my head in befuddlement, I heard them ’ing in the distance. They were in the field behind the house. The odd thing about it, however, is that I don’t know how they got there. I don’t believe they can leave the fenced-in area in front of the house, and I don’t know how they got into the fenced-in area behind the house. I’m sure there is a good explanation—or a gap in the fences somewhere—or perhaps Chico, our occasional handyman, put them there. I’m not sure why he would do that though.
So, I open up the fence to entice them back into the field in the front of the house by holding a plastic container containing their food, and shaking it. That gets their attention. Gringo, the more sociable of the two, starts moving towards me after I open the gate, and follows me back towards the front of the house. Amigo follows eventually. I was a bit nervous, though, as Gringo was literally walking right next to me, trying to box me into a corner (or in this case, onto the side of the driveway and into the tall grass, to get to the food)! I had to do a number of twists and turns but all the time ensuring he doesn’t kick me or something, as I made my way slowly up the driveway. Finally, they both went into the field in front of the house and spent the next half hour enjoying their delicious comida.
Related to the horses is something I don’t understand. See the picture--travel blog readers only: http://www.travelblog.org/Bloggers/AndrewNCostaRica/. There is Amigo, standing out in the rain in front of the house while Amigo is down the hill under the “hut” we built for them to provide shelter from the rain. Why didn’t Amigo go in there as well? They’ve both in there together before. Perhaps the rain does not bother Amigo as much? Maybe they are having a fight or something. Well, we built it and figured they come. We’ll see.
A few of you asked me about supermarkets here, and more specifically, about those near us. I will try to answer your questions. Yes, they sell much more than beans and rice! No, you cannot find everything you might be accustomed to getting back in the United States though you’ll find most things. Most of the supermarkets have big aisles organized just like American supermarkets. In fact, they even have a branch of the “IGA” brand supermarket in the shopping mall in San Ramon. Discovering that made me chuckle because as my brothers and I know, my mother worked in a bakery for many years that was part of an IGA store.
I tend to find that the supermarkets here, while a decent size, even by “super-size me” American standards, provide most of the things I am looking for, just not in great varieties.
It is the lack of variety of items to select from that often bugs me, especially when it comes to cheese. At least here in San Ramon, you can get perhaps three or four different types of cheese and I love cheese! Perhaps there is a special store I have not found yet, though I am sure there are specialty stores in and near San Jose.
The other issue that I’ve come across, at least in the supermarkets I’ve been in (and I’ve been in many), is that for many items, they are sold in smaller sizes. I have not seen a gallon or half gallon of milk yet. Milk generally comes in hard plastic, rectangular containers and one of them generally lasts a day or two, at least in this household. The pasta I like, penne, comes in a single serving size. That is actually fine for me because it is perfect when I am forced to cook for myself. Perhaps I just haven’t found the larger sizes packages though I suspect one will find them in Escazu (a town near San Jose—sort of like Greenwich is to New York City) where many of the rich Americans live.
The stores are definitely not Whole Foods, not quite Giant, Piggly Wiggly, or Safeway, but are on par with smaller chains in the U.S. If the managers will let me, I try to take some pictures of the inside of supermarkets soon. Now isn’t that worth waiting for?
I will try to write again by Sunday if anything interesting occurs—such as the rain stopping—however I am spending much of next week in San Jose in meetings (no, we don’t lounge around sipping cocktails all the time!). I am sure that trip will make for a long blog entry. I can see it already: Costa Rican business customs, finding my way around town, the hotel I’ll stay at, and more!
Time to make the doughnuts….check that, feed the puppies!
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