Tuesday, November 13, 2007

On Residency, Scorpions and Boing-Boings

On any given Monday, all kinds of weird and random things can happen. For example:

Residency: I have a resident I.D., known in Costa Rica as a cedula. It expired on December 16 two years ago, but due to a backlog of cedulas that needed to be processed in immigration, combined with the fact that their whole computing system broke down and then needed to be overhauled, a one-year amnesty was put in place. Then another one-year amnesty when that one expired. So, thinking that my cedula would finally expire for real this year, I went down to ARCR in San Jose yesterday to see about getting them to help me with the renewal process. (If you are a member, they charge you something like $100 to do all the running around for you, and if you like to wait in lines all day with a three-year-old, you can save the $100, but if not, you may think it is well worth it. I do. I think it is worth even more, to be perfectly honest!) The extremely nice woman there informed me that 1) I should be carrying a copy of the decree around with me at all times, just in case; 2) I should also be carrying a copy of my entire passport to show that I have been in Costa Rica for at least 3 days during the time my cedula was supposed to have expired; and 3) they are likely to pass another amnesty again (any day, in fact), because the backlog still has not subsided. So, no new cedula for me any day soon. The reason I wanted to get it taken care of was so that I could leave the country and not be hassled when coming back in, and also so that I could apply for a loan at the bank for my new car. Neither of which should be a problem. Hooray!

Scorpions: Mondays are our mini-play days at Gymbo Fiestas in Santa Ana (in case anyone out there with young kids wants to join us!). For once, we were set to be on time, which was unusual, given that we are never on time and also that we now live about 45 minutes from Santa Ana. On the way out of the door, though, yet another house guest was sitting in the door jamb, waiting to strike one of the dogs on the nose. You guessed it: a scorpion. I think now that we have encountered one house guest per day since moving in here. As I was screaming for esposo to "squash it, squash it!" son was going, "Mommy, let me see it!" It was a big one, too, usually we get the little ones, but this was a good 4-5 inches long. Esposo was afraid that if he stepped on it, the goo would get on his nice shoes and also that it would jump up and bite him (though I don't think scorpions can jump). A phone book was finally settled on, and I can assure you that dropping a phone book and then stomping upon said phone book will surely squash a scorpion as flat as a pancake.
Edited to add: As soon as I finished writing this post, what I do see but Boris cat not three feet away from me playing with a half-dead scorpion! Ugh! They flush well, too. Scorpions, I mean, not cats.

Boing-Boings: They sell all manner of things in the intersections of city streets here. Everything from newspapers to stickers to cell phone accessories to car floor mats, you name it. Toys are especially popular, particularly around Christmas (and we all know it comes earlier every year, Costa Rica being no exception). Last week, while driving home from San Jose, we saw a guy selling what son calls "boing-boings," for lack of a better word. They're these rubbery ball-koosh-things on the end of a rubbery tether that are sort of like a modern-day ball attached to a paddle toy, and the ball part blinks when you hit it against something. Son was sleeping in the car and had had a terrible day, so I knew it would be something fun for him. Of course, the little blinky thing inside broke about an hour after we got home. And then the boing-boing ball went flat. So it sat on a bench, looking very sad. Yesterday, when we got home, esposo let the dogs in the house (as we usually do) so that I could pull the car in the driveway. As soon as I did and he'd let the dogs back out, I noticed Numi-monster had something in her mouth. It was the boing-boing. She was chewing it, and by the time I got to her, yelling, Numi, No, Give that back! Stop it! the whole while, she had swallowed it. Entirely. I mean, the thing is like the size of a fist, and the rubbery tether is another good six inches long. We called our vet back in Ciudad Colon immediately, and he said actually not to worry, it's amazing what big dogs can swallow and "pass" (a good word for "crap out later"). Basically to give her olive oil four times a day for the next couple of days until we either see it, ahem, pass, or she starts vomiting and getting lethargic (meaning that it's stuck in there somewhere and she will need surgery to remove it). Let's all hope for the passing of the boing-boing, shall we?


  1. Sounds like Raven is having quite the adventure in her new casa :)
    WE sell "boing-boings"

    I know the ones from us are non/toxic and have pased that whole "choke tube" things for kidlets.. dunno about dogs however.

  2. Oh girl, I'm swearing off the boing-boings after this! Numi is looking okay today, surprisingly, though the thing still has not been crapped out. I'm mostly concerned about the rubbery tether part getting wrapped around her intestines, or the battery acid getting into her system, or the blinky thing that broke cutting up her insides... Sheesh, dumb dog! She's my Marley.

  3. You remember Jake, the black lab that loved our yellow lab Burt ever so inapproprately, that dog would eat ANYTHING.. he must have been part Goat or something

  4. I loved Jake. He was the one who somehow managed to make it to my house about 10 blocks from yours one morning, even though he'd never been there before. Numaya is a lot like Jake. And here it is Friday (5 days later)and she still hasn't shat the boing-boing.