Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Just Roll With it, Baby

I was about to whine and cry about everything that has gone haywire, but I'm learning that I must be much more flexible. I was when I was a young Army wife, packing up and moving, sometimes internationally, on a regular basis.

What happened is that I got a panicked email from the company shipping our household goods wanting to know why we could not be reached at any of our phone numbers. Our things were in San Jose and we needed to pick an import specialist to deal with the inspection, import duties, etc, etc.

I've run into a number of difficulties. It's very hard to reach me because we're living in a town literally surrounded by mountains on all sides and there is exactly one spot in the village I can get more than one cell phone tower.

But, we're dealing with it. Picked someone to help out and they are doing their thing right now. I'm miffed that it looks like the government of Costa Rica is seizing three of my boxes because they contain otc drugs and pharmacy things and personal care items like shampoo. Apparently you cannot bring that. It was not listed anywhere on the forbidden list.

The other difficulty is that they want to seize the box containing all the masks, filters and supplies for my VPAP machine and my personal air filter, but I think they're going to accept my letter of medical necessity and allow me to have them. It's just now I have to register both machines with the Ministry of Health here, and pay more fees.

The car is finally going to be loaded onto the boat and shipped here. I finally have the right paperwork. There was some drama with my mama about it. The car is at her house, but I enlisted my aunt to help out. Fingers crossed this happens. The shipping contact had called my mother and she speaks no Spanish and his English is sparse. We communicate primarily in Spanglish.

Both of these things took piles of crying, screeching, hair-pulling phone calls and emails to accomplish.

Yesterday I finally developed some chill and started going back to my old it is what it is self, that long-ago Army wife that kicked ass and took numbers without stressing out. Yesterday morning we were both supposed to get on a bus for San Jose for a little trip to the American Embassy. Jim is trying to get the final power of attorney paperwork set up so that he can handle his mother's investments instead of the evil sister in law.

We took a taxi to the bus station in Santa Maria, arriving in plenty of time for our ride. It was only when we started to board the bus that things when into goat rodeo territory again. We discovered that the tickets for the express bus that Jim bought days before were for the 5 am bus, not the 7:45 am bus. We were told we could stand for the two hour ride.

Normally I would have panicked. Jim had to be there! It was important as you have to schedule these appointments with the Embassy four to six weeks in advance. But I just told Jim to go ahead, go ahead without me because they did have an extra seat for one person, and I'd find my way back to Copey and just go on with my day.

This is exactly what we ended up doing. I left Jim on the bus and went shopping, getting a few more towels, getting hand sewing needles, fruit and snacks for the room for the week. I walked all over Santa Maria, stopping to get coffee at the coffee cooperative cafe and going into many shops, talking to folks and shopping for the first time at the fruit and vegetable market.

Then I took a taxi back to Copey, paying the Tico price after scaring up enough Spanish to tell the taxi driver he better switch on the meter. The rest of the day involved taking long walks, reading and a little crochet while watching Netflix on my computer.

Jim returned at dinner time with a long tale of his own crazy just roll with it day spent getting this power of attorney done. We laughed over the crazy. I guess living here we're going to always have to be open, flexible and not married to one idea to the exclusion of everything else.

I do wish my Spanish was better and I'm starting to carry my conversational Spanish guide everywhere with me, which was how I knew what to say to get onto the taxi driver to turn on the meter and avoid paying Gringo price.

One of the big reasons I wish my Spanish was better is that I'm dying to know the back story of one lady I see every time I go to Santa Maria. An elderly lady with a beard. I think she's homeless because I always see her on the streets, literally living on the streets. But I've noticed she is always crocheting the most beautiful lace and other items, surrounded by plastic bags of her crochet supplies. I long to know her story, to ask her about her mad crochet skills. The lace is so beautiful.

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