Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Tuesday morning ramblings

I think we're getting my car early next week. I think. I sure do hope so. Only $2,500 to go! I had to apply for a credit card today, and I haven't had a credit card in something like 10 years. I hate credit cards. I figure, if I can't pay cash for it, I probably don't need it. The exception being really big-ticket items like cars and maybe one of these days a home, in which case we apply for a loan. And even then, the thought of having to make car payments every month is a little bit scary when you work for yourself, though now that esposo has a full-time-and-then-some job, I'm not too concerned. Maybe I should be. I don't know. I am getting the credit card only for renting a car in the States. I tried to rent one with a debit card here a few months ago and that was a big mistake. Don't do that. You can, but you really don't want to.

Anyway, so we have no car, and esposo left my digital camera in the car of a guy he works with who gave him a ride home on Monday. So yesterday we went all the way to San Jose by bus to pick it up. I told him if he lost my camera, I would get to keep his iPod, so you know secretly I was hoping the camera was gone. (I recently discovered Woot! and I'm just waiting for them to offer digital SLRs again, 'cause I'm gettin' one, for sure. And a Roomba.) Well, it wasn't gone after all. Guess I have to get my own iPod! We arrived by bus in the city just before 3:00, and were hoping to get to our favorite restaurant (Lubnan) before they closed for the afternoon, but we were just minutes too late, so we ended up walking back up Paseo Colon to the new fast-food Teriyaki that opened next to Quizno's. I have to say, none of us usually eats fast food -- it's disgusting, and it smells, makes me nauseated, and in general just grosses me out. But Teriyaki was pretty good. Probably the best fast food we have in this whole country. Just simple rice, veggies, and udon noodles, and you dump the sauce on top. And they even had tofu. Tofu! Are you kidding me? How rare here. Even our son loved it. I guess they're a chain. Esposo and I were talking yesterday about how, when I first came here, you really didn't see the big, fat people in Costa Rica that you do now. He blames it on the U.S. for invading this country with its fast food chains; I blame it on the people for eating that crap; the reality is probably somewhere in between. Anyway, I wish if fast food chains were going to invade this country, they could at least have something edible, like Teriyaki.

So I got my camera back, and here's that picture I wanted to show you of Phoebe and Olivia. Olivia is like Phoebe's big mama, though Phoebe is nearly as big as she is at this point. They are about inseparable.

I have this really ancient printer. But it works just fine. I used to be able to buy generic printer cartridges for it when we lived in Ciudad Colon for around $4 each. I cannot find them in this town. There's a libreria in town called Dimi that I swear is run by idiots. (You know I have little tolerance for stupidity.) I've been trying to order the generic cartridges for my printer for the past two weeks from them, and every time I go in, they first forget what I'm talking about, then tell me it will be a couple more days before they're in. Finally, I decided last night to break down and buy the $30 cartridges. As I was paying for one black ink cartridge, I saw the store was having a sale on Canon printers, for $40. So I decided, what the heck, a brand-new printer and it comes with two cartridges, can't really go wrong! I had bought a Dell printer with my Dell computer and had them shipped down from the States (I can't stand the way computers are set up if you buy them in Costa Rica, if you're wondering, and rather than wipe the hard drive and set up everything myself, it was easier and cheaper to buy one from Dell on sale and have it shipped down here). Of course, I have not yet been able to find Dell printer cartridges here. Maybe the Dell store has them. Maybe it's something else I'll have to ask my mom to send me. It still makes a great fax machine and scanner, if not a printer.

So there I am, carting a big printer box through downtown Alajuela at night as we head for the public hospital. If you've never had the pleasure of Costa Rica's public hospitals, pray you never have need to. The one in Alajuela is, I believe, the newest in the country, and it's still gross. The emergency room is packed; the bathrooms lack toilet paper, soap, and paper towels (how sanitary, eh?) -- even the bathrooms on the patient ward levels. That should be illegal. I guess they think people are going to steal the toilet paper. There's a huge lobby, but no one is actually allowed to use it, so everyone has to wait outside on benches in the cold and sometimes rain. Only family members are allowed to visit relatives, and only one at a time, so basically son and I just sat outside and played with a street dog for two hours. Now here's a weird/Catholic/Costa Rican oddity: Once, we went on a Sunday and it just happed to be time for mass. The hospital opens the doors to the lobby at that time, and there's a mass held right there in the lobby, and that is the only time random people are actually allowed in the lobby. Otherwise, it's outside for you, pal! The big hospital downtown is worse. Disgusting and old. I believe it was the one where a disgruntled employee set fire to an upper floor a few years ago, killing several patients in the process because there was only one exit and it was blocked by the fire. Esposo was in that hospital about five or six years ago for surgery on his knee, and I felt worse that he was in that gross hospital than that he was going through the surgery itself.

Oh, why were we at the public hospital in the first place?, you may well ask. Esposo's dad is in there, and not doing too well. Think good thoughts.

We finally got home around 9, and how I wished I had my car. My new car, that is, not the HH. I never wish to have the HH back. Never. Never. Ever.

No comments:

Post a Comment