Sunday, November 11, 2007

Social event of the year?

Yesterday we went to the yearly Women's Club Bazaar. You might be surprised to see me say that it's the social event of the year. (And you'd probably also be surprised to know I was once a member of the Women's Club! And probably the youngest one at that! Ha ha ha!) But there are people that I haven't seen for about a year, and pretty much every Gringo in Costa Rica shows up at the Bazaar. It's usually a great place to get used books in English, though not so much for me this year (though I did pick up an Isabel Allende that I haven't read, plus a very old tome by Arthur C. Clarke). This was the son's year, as I got 16 books for him. It looked like someone had just donated all of their son's books that he'd outgrown (think snakes, lizards, bugs, etc.), so I bought pretty much all of them. Plus an extremely cool pop-up book about Egypt, and a giant volume of classic poetry for children. And Where the Wild Things Are (though last year I got most of the books Dr. Seuss had ever written). All for $14. Not bad.

The problem is that everyone else comes for the books, too. So as soon as the doors open, a mad rush of people (think Macy's on Black Friday) swarm straight to the book section, packing in between boxes of books like sardines. It's insane. And I got there just a few minutes after the doors opened, and already most of the books had been picked over. My friend D. was there with son E. on his back, and I noticed he also had a copy of Where the Wild Things Are, and I was thinking to myself, Damn, he got a good one! Then I saw there was another copy -- hooray! So I snagged it. The line to pay for books was ridiculous, and as I was trying to get my bag o'books from where I'd stashed them, a woman in line started bitching at me, thinking I was cutting her place. I wanted to slap her, but space wouldn't permit it, so I said instead, I'm just getting my books, lady, settle down. Grrr... Sometimes I really can't stand people.

Well anyway, Lord knows I don't need anything else to read! I have books to last me until retirement. Happy for me, son has my love of books, and was over-the-moon ecstatic when I showed him the big bag of books I'd procured. (On a totally side note, I was once talking to a friend about the only Waldorf school here in Costa Rica, and we got to discussing their policy on reading. It seems that they actively keep kids from reading until they reach a certain age [7 or 8, I'm not sure]. My friend thought it was fine, because kids shouldn't be pushed into reading before they're ready, but I thought it was a crap pants idea, because kids should be allowed to read when they seem ready. Two sides of the same coin, I guess. That one thing decided for me that I would not send son to Waldorf, and we'd keep with the homeschool agenda, because he loves his books and he's already started asking me what certain letters spell. I can't see the logic in telling him, Well, kid, you're not 7 yet, so I can't tell you! That seems absurd.)

So I saw about a bazillion people I had not seen in ages, and quite a few I'd seen only a few days ago! As I was waiting in (yet another) line for coffee, I saw a woman who's been in France for an age (lucky dog, you!), and she was mentioning something about having this luscious-looking carrot-coconut cake. I said I had to pass, I'm on a diet. And then she said something that really made me laugh: Why? You're not fat! Yes, I am fat! I'm awful! I said. No, you're solid! Ha ha ha, S., that's a good one! Now there's a euphemism for fat -- solid!

Besides books, we bought munchies at the international food court, son got a handmade kid's guitar, and we also picked up quite a few herbs for the new garden from the Ark Herb Farm. And it was again cold as could be (the little weather thing down there says 68F, but I don't believe it for a minute!), so I bought a used sweater. Another friend was a coffee volunteer, and she has the car we're thinking about getting, so I asked her about it, and of course she loves it. She said to check it out in the parking lot (or car park, probably, since she's a Brit), and I did, hoping the while that no one would think I was going to break into it. All in all, a fun day.

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